She Has My Heart (Foster Care Update)

Mother Care

Tonight as I tucked our foster baby it hit me like a ton of bricks. I love this baby. I mean I really love this baby.

It might shock you that I haven’t experienced this before tonight. I mean we have had her for a little over six months now. And she has been easy to love from the beginning. But it was love with a “little l”.

Part of the problem is honestly she wasn’t able to bond for many months. It is a sad reality of a child in the foster care system. She had been shuffled so much, handed off to worker after worker and spent a lot of her first six months in daycare (not a dig against daycare, just trying to make a statement about how many people were in her life).

The other half of the problem if you want me to be really honest with you…. I have held back. I have kept part of my heart safe. I had to. We all have except for Silas who went all in from day one. That boy loves her fearlessly. He has taught us all.

As time has gone on I have been worn down and this little girl has wormed her way deep into my heart. She has come out of her shell and this amazing little personality has emerged. She has always been easy going and happy but it was a generic happy. Now she has highs and lows and makes her feelings known (oh does she!!).

This weekend we were at a birthday party with a large crowd of strangers. Normally she will not seem to differentiate between strangers and family. In fact she did spend a lot of time getting passed around my complete strangers and it didn’t phase her.  But she got scared by a loud noise and immediately crawled over and up onto my lap. This. is. a. big. deal.

It is a bit heartbreaking that as she starts moving more and more towards reunification she is finally bonding with us (especially because I have observed her with her mom and this isn’t the case with her).

But this is the way of foster care. And it would be wrong to pull back and prevent her bonding. Her bonding to us is a very good thing as far as her development goes. I often worried she wasn’t able to bond. She has come such a long way in six months.

But it will make our goodbye much harder…….

(to be continued)


  1. Oh Jill. This is heart wrenching and beautiful! your beautiful son, all in from day one. what we can learn from our precious children. i am not familiar with foster care very well at all, but from what i understand is that she may or may not stay with you? if that’s the case, I can totally understand how you would love with a “little l”. oh girl…what a HEART you have!!!

  2. This is beautiful, Jill.
    Susie Finkbeiner recently posted…Everybody Loves LolaMy Profile

  3. So hard… I’m not sure I could ever do it. There is a family at our church trying to adopt out of foster care. They had a little boy for two years and he went back. That was a few years ago. Then recently they had a little girl for 10 months, it seemed they were going to get her and then suddenly she was gone. So unfair it seems.
    Krista recently posted…14 Months: My little monkeysMy Profile

  4. This was a hard post to read as I want another child so much and am unable to do so biologically. I would adopt this baby in a heartbeat … sigh. This is a candid, off the cuff, comment — no insult to the bio mom.

  5. I have to confess that I am following this journey so very closely, Jilly. We have our three children… and that’s wonderful. We lost our fourth baby, which was devastating, but we are still so very blessed. I never in nine gazillion years thought I would feel called to foster but, since doing a 100-night stint in the NICU when C. was born, seeds were planted in my heart. I don’t know what to do with them yet. I truly don’t. But I am so grateful to YOU for sharing parts of your story with us.
    JessieLeigh recently posted…Stay-cationing in ConnecticutMy Profile

  6. Sobbing. O My Goodness. You know our fourth is adopted right? she was also tossed around in the short 4 weeks before we got her for life. And it was hard, and I know what you mean about holding back. I don’t know how you do it girl. wanna hug ya right now. You guys are amazing!
    Sheila recently posted…Cowboy CaviarMy Profile

  7. So heartwarming, and so, so hard. Thank you for sharing so candidly, Jill.
    Robin Kramer @ Pink Dryer Lint recently posted…Marriage Month: The RealityMy Profile

  8. We are called to do hard things, which become good things – they feed our souls and strengthen our hearts … yours is filled with love, and it will be with you forever. Love this my sweet friend, love it with all of my heart xxxx
    Sisters From Another Mister recently posted…Time Travel Tuesday June 2013My Profile

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