Too Attached, Yet Unafraid

joel and bray britt and bray

The paternity test results have finally come back confirming who our foster son’s birth father is. The process will now continue to move forward with a home study of the birth father’s family member who wants to adopt our foster son. It is becoming more of a reality that a day is likely approaching when we will have to say good bye to our sweet little buddy. Our hearts are grateful that our foster son has family members who love him and want to raise him as their own. This is a good thing! However, our hearts also ache knowing we will not be able to make him a permanent part of our family. We won’t be able experience his first steps, his first words or his first day of school. We won’t be able to tell him about Jesus and teach him what it looks like to follow God. It is overwhelming for me to imagine the day when Joel and I will have to strap him in his car seat one last time, kiss his big, soft cheeks and say our good-byes. Tears run down my face now just writing about it.

A common response we receive from people is, “I could never do foster care, I would get too attached.” But the reality is that Joel and I can’t do this either. We do not have any special ability to do foster care. Our hearts are not unbreakable. We are “too attached”. We love this little boy that we brought home from the hospital nearly 5 months ago. We love him as our own and can’t imagine day to day life without him. To be honest, at times I wonder if we were crazy to get ourselves into this. We are far, far “too attached”.

But that was exactly our aim and we would do it all over again. Even though our hope was adoption, God knew that this little boy would only be our son for a season. He is not surprised by the fact that this little boy will most likely leave our home and go live with his extended family members. Nor is He unaware of the pain that this will cause our hearts. Somehow in God’s perfect wisdom, this is what is best for our little guy and for us. I do not pretend to understand how this is best-it deeply grieves my heart. But I trust Him with the life of our foster son and I trust Him to take care of Joel and me in our grief. We love and serve a God who is good, all-powerful, perfectly loving and infinite in wisdom-a God whose purposes cannot be thwarted. “I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). He is worthy of our trust, even when we don’t understand His ways. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:31).

Although I don’t know that there is a way to actually prepare our hearts for the waves of sadness that will flood our hearts in the days ahead, my soul is fortified by remembering who our God is and the sacrifice He made for us at the cross. When I am tempted to feel unloved by the working out of His plans, I need to look no further than the cross. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “He who did not spare His own son but gave him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). God proves His love for us by giving us His one and only Son. He is a God who withholds no good thing from us-not even His own Son. We can rest assured that all that comes to us has first passed through His sovereign, good and loving hand. Furthermore, we can trust that as a loving Father, He will not leave us to ourselves in our pain. He is a gracious and compassionate Savior that we can draw near to and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). He promises to strengthen and uphold us, to daily bear us up and to be a rock of refuge to which we may continually come (Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 68:19; 71:3).

These promises are relatively easy for me to call to mind and speak to my soul now but I ask you dear friends and family, to please remind me of them in the days ahead when they don’t seem so clear and when I don’t have the strength to remind myself. In the giving and the taking, our God is good and worthy of our trust and praise. We need not fear becoming “too attached”.

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7 comments

  1. I found myself moved to tears by your first post of becoming a foster parent, sharing your excitement when you announced your pregnancy and now my heart aches for you as you prepare to have to send him off with his extended family. I know that God has bigger plans for him and for your family. You and Joel have been such a blessing in that little boy’s life. He has felt unconditional love through your hands, comfort by your closeness and the warmth of your embrace. The upcoming days won’t always be easier but they will be worth it. Your whole experience was worth it, Britt. I’m so proud to be able to call you a friend. Sending lots of love and hugs!

  2. Again, I know how you feel!! I wonder over and over when people say, “I’d get too attached” why that saying bothers me… I’m realizing its because yes, of course any normal, feeling person would get “too” attached to a precious baby who depends on them!! That’s not the chief point, however – the point is caring for these orphans of our society. And in caring them, to love them and bond with them, because that’s what they need. In caring for our present foster baby, I often asked myself, “what on earth am I doing? I’m setting myself up for heartbreak!” But God has miraculously shielded me from that, somehow enabling me to love him dearly, but be at peace with his coming reintegration with his dad. But the emotions do ebb and flow… its good to write the truth now, when you can see and feel it clearly, so you can remind yourself of it later when everything seems so unfair. Keep us posted!!

  3. Oh dear Britt and Joel, your journey of faith moves me to the core and thank you for writing truth…and love! Pain and suffering are present in many forms in this life and I do believe there is purpose in it all. Heaven beckons and, in Christ, we can look forward to an eternity of joy. But the here and now looms large some days and we have been placed in this world for a purpose, for a time. Or as we read in the book of Esther “for such a time as this.” Prayers continue. Hugs and love, Judy Vader

  4. Know that I am praying for you in these hard days, Brittany! I’m thankful for your sharing all of this publicly. It’s so encouraging to see God at work in your heart and challenging to me (in a good way). I can clearly see how you are becoming more like Jesus through this!

  5. Thank you for sharing your fostering experience. My heart breaks with yours at the thought of you having to say goodbye to your foster baby. Thank you for unconditionally loving someone who needed your love. I am proud of you Brittany for saying yes to the Lord calling you to care and love children who need parents, even if it is only for a season! I will be praying for you and your husband, that you may feel God’s strength and comfort in the upcoming days, months, years. Love you Britt!

  6. Wow! Great posts – thank you! I came across your blog as an example of the ‘McKinley’ theme on WordPress, but was captivated by your content. Adoption is something I’ve always wanted to do – I trust God has a plan! I’m really encouraged by your blog – Thank you for your candidness throughout your story of fostering, for your love for the Lord, and for your example of willingness to follow in Jesus’ footsteps of sacrificial love. May He continue to bless and guide you!
    ~Kelly
    PS. I also really like the look of your blog – I’ll be using this theme for mine! 🙂

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