The First Placement and First Starfish

If you’ve read my previous blogs, you’ll know I was anxious (both an excited anxious and a nervous anxious) for my first call for a foster placement. Well, that call came. I feel like that is one of those moments I will always remember where I was and the conversations that followed. This was the moment I had been waiting for; I’m officially a foster parent.

I drove to pick up two little girls who would soon be living in my home. There is so much preparation that goes into becoming a resource family, but nothing actually prepares you fully for that first placement. While protecting these two girls and their family, I won’t share how they ended up in my care, but it was a fast removal and the girls came simply with the clothes on their backs and a few things they had gotten while at the DHS office. I remember calling my support system and asking each of them to run and grab something while I drove to grab the girls. Diapers, pajamas, a change of clothes, and kid-friendly groceries were on my list. I was on my way to get the most important thing: the girls.

The girls were only with me for two short weeks before they were placed with a family member. I knew this was a possibility, and I hoped for whatever outcome would be best for their family. But boy, I learned just how quickly you can grow attached to a child and how love just flows, no matter how long that relationship is. I ended up finding so much peace in a quote I found: “I promise you love + family + all that I can give. Even if only for a little while.” That quote brought me so much comfort knowing that even though my time with the girls is short, I promise to give them all that I can, even if only for a little while.

Something else that was so helpful was a beautiful story that was shared with me about a starfish, which you can read below.

This story also resonated with me, as I felt I could confidently say at the end of the day, “I made a difference to that one.”

Foster care is unpredictable. Some kids come into our lives for such a short period of time, and some stay for quite a while. What I’ve come to realize is there’s no avoiding getting too attached if you’re doing it right. Getting too attached means you care, you love, you pour into them, even if only for a little while. Even though the goodbyes are hard, I encourage you to get too attached, even if only for a little while.

Then another call came, and I have a new friend in my home who has taught me more than I can express in this blog. This placement is looking to be longer – months rather than weeks. Another new adventure. Another starfish. Another chance to get too attached. Another chance to give him all I can, even if only for a little while. Stay tuned…

By Anne Peters, LMFT

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