Our Foster Parent Grief – the Loss & Separation: Saying Goodbye to Our ‘Baby C’

We had made the trip down that sidewalk to the courtroom of the small Tennessean town many times the past fourteen months.  But that day, just a short few weeks ago, our hearts became heavier with every step.

That was to be our final trip with our foster daughter, ‘Baby C’.

Slowly walking to the courthouse with our little one in my wife’s arms, my wife quietly began to sing a blessing over our little one – a song, which my wife had sung many nights the past year to our children before bedtime.  

“May the Lord bless you….

May the Lord keep you…

May He lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace…”

As the soft, broken melody of our foster daughter’s tender voice began to sing along with my wife, tears raced down my cheeks.  

Walking toward the approaching transition that awaited us inside that small courtroom, I fought an internal battle.  Every instinct within me did not want to loosen my grip. She had become an important and loved member of our family.  She was family.  

She is family.

And yet, my wife and I understood our position as foster parents:  to provide a safe and loving home for her to heal, to grow, to thrive with a goal to be united with family.  A family member to our little one had stepped forward and had agreed to parent her, so she was to now leave our home and be united with him.  Her family.

She was our first foster placement.  And that day in the small Tennessean town at the judge’s decision that afternoon, she became our first foster child to transition from our family.  And just like that, this precious, precious little girl, who crawled into our home and hearts was gone.

I had not anticipated the waves of emotion that would crash over us in the following days.  The complete separation from our daughter with no contact or updates regarding how she was transitioning into her new life was hard. We just wanted to hear that she was doing well…and that she missed us, too.

Silence.

This first transition has been emotionally hard for us. Our family misses her, and we pray for her and her new family multiple moments in everyday.

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Thankfully, we have established a good relationship with the approved family member, and he has invited a continuing relationship with him and ‘Baby C’.  And of course, we welcome that as well.  

But for now, we wait. We wait for them to become settled within their new reality of their relationship in their home.  

And while we wait, we dream of her.  We think of her often as we move throughout our home.  As we watch our biological 5-year old son interact with our newest foster placement that arrived just a few months ago (the 11-month half-sister to ‘Baby C’), we are reminded of the times of play between our son & ‘Baby C’.

The very fond memories of ‘Baby C’s’ brief time with us remain in our minds…and so deep within our hearts.