To Friends and Family of Foster Parents

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Being a foster parent sucks sometimes.

Not the opener you were expecting? Well, I’m just being honest.

We just recently lost our precious little foster daughter and are grieving as anyone would after losing a child. Our case wasn’t like most either. I can’t talk much about details, but let’s just say we didn’t let her go willingly.

Through the whole process, though, I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the hundreds of messages, Facebook posts and comments, and face to face interactions we’ve had from people who care and were affected as well. These interactions have ranged from people we barely know on Facebook to grandparents and my sister who lives next door. The comments have ranged from “We’re praying for you” to an emotional meltdown because of frustration and grief.

I always knew it would be hard on a lot of people when and if she left us because she touched so many lives, but I was still overwhelmed by how much grief people close to us were going through. Their grief weighed on my heart. I wanted to reach out to them and tell them what I was feeling, so, of course, I did what any writer would. I wrote a poem. 

If you’re a foster parent, please feel free to share this with your friends and family. If you’re a friend or family member of a foster parent, please read this as if they were saying it to you. You are loved and very much appreciated.

Angel walking in yard

To Friends and Family of Foster Parents

You didn’t ask to befriend the children of a stranger

To treat them like family

To show love to them though you didn’t yet feel it

To include them in a loving community they may have never known.

You didn’t ask to share your friends and family

To have them consumed by a system you don’t understand or agree with

A system that often hurts or even crushes them.

You didn’t ask to sit by and watch them suffer.

And you didn’t ask to grow attached to these children

So much so that they truly become family

Only to have them ripped from your lives.

You didn’t ask to deal with the heartache of saying goodbye.

But you did. And for that we are truly sorry and truly grateful.


~ by Dusty Crabtree - Author of Shadow Eyes on July 31, 2014.

One Response to “To Friends and Family of Foster Parents”

  1. Dusty, you’re in my thoughts and prayers. May God give you strength to help you and Clayton through this difficult time. – Margaret

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