How to Say ‘Goodbye’ to a Foster Child
There are so many positives to the overall fostering experience, but it also comes with a number of a number of unique challenges. One such challenge is the often inevitable issue of saying goodbye to a foster child. Unlike adoption, fostering often comes with an ending point; either as a child ages out of the system or they are reunited with their birth families. This can be an extremely difficult situation for you to be in, as well as distressing for both yourself and your foster child.
As such, it is important to understand and develop a coping method for the process of saying goodbye to a foster child. It’s not always easy, but learning to cope is the hallmark of a good foster parent.
Keep a Positive Attitude
One of the only ways to deal with the overall experience of saying goodbye to foster child is to keep a positive attitude. Think of all of the good experiences and the positive impact that you have had on their lives. After all, without you, they could be in a very different situation than the one they are moving on to.
And if you are really feeling the loss of saying goodbye to your foster child, then remember that you will be able to experience all of those wonderful things again soon with another child. Enriching, shaping and helping their lives in just the same way. As a role model, staying positive can also help to rally your family or whoever else might be experiencing a similar reaction to saying goodbye to a foster child.
Don’t Alarm the Child
The last thing you want to do, when saying goodbye to a foster child, is to make them aware that anything is wrong. The experience needs to be as stress-free as possible for the child. Which sometimes, no matter how hard it may feel, means keeping the tears at bay in order to do so. It may sound cliche, but staying strong one final time is vital when saying goodbye to your foster child.
Deal With the Grief
Losing a foster child can often feel like a bigger loss in your life. As such, it is especially important for you to give yourself time to grief and process the loss. Both for yourself and for your family as a whole, because grief can be a shared experience that you all power through together. Saying goodbye to a foster child is a legitimate reason for the feeling of loss, so don’t be afraid to admit to and deal with these feelings.