When You are Losing Your Foster Child & Losing Control


“I feel like I’ve failed her.” These words came out of my husband’s mouth last night as we sat and stared at each other with tears in our eyes. “Why? Because we didn’t hire a lawyer?” I asked. “Because she is hurting and I can’t do anything about it,” was his reply.


We have 5 more days.


Five days before we lose our fiery daughter.

The one we have sung to every night the past two years.

The one we were planning to give our last name.

The one who calls us Mom and Dad.


And we are so heartbroken.


We’ve experienced loss before, but never like this.




A lawyer was unprepared, another lawyer was just out to win regardless of best interests for the child, so a judge is sending our princess to live with her first parents whom she has never lived with. And she is traumatized.


Last night we sat and looked at each other in tears, dreading what is to come.


Throughout this process, we fluidly move through several different emotions:

Anger towards a broken system.

Heartbreak for all that is lost.

Peace. Knowing that God is sovereign. He is in charge. He has a plan.


Many people asked us why we didn’t hire a lawyer to fight the decision. Trust me, we thought about it. After prayer and seeking counsel we came to the conclusion it would do more harm than good. There is such a small chance we would get to keep her and a guarantee that her first parents would never let us see her again.


God called us to love them. God asked us to surrender her to Him. God did not tell us to hire a lawyer.

As we talked about the possibility of hiring a lawyer, I realized that the only thing hiring a lawyer would do is make me feel like I have control.


Isn’t that what we all want?


It’s nothing new really. A tale as old as time.


God chose Abram to be the father of many nations, the father of God’s chosen people. There was only one problem: Abram had no children. And he was OLD. And his wife, Sarai, was OLD. She was way beyond childbearing years. An angel told her she would give birth to a son and she laughed. She did not trust that God had things under control. Sarai decided to take control and gave her servant, Hagar, to Abram as a wife. Hagar conceived and bore a son. While she was pregnant, Hagar began treating Sarai with contempt. Sarai’s need to control cost her greatly. (See Genesis 16 for the story)


Aren’t we all a little bit like Sarai? We forget that His “eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained

for me were written in [His] book before one of them came to be.” -Psalm 139:16 NIV


We forget that “with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” -2 Peter 3:8 NIV


We forget that ‘“my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.’ -Isaiah 55:8 NIV



With these things in mind, we are choosing to fight in the only way that makes sense: through prayer. We are begging God to do a miracle in and for her first parents. We are pleading for our princess to be safe and healthy. And if God knows that these things will not come to pass, we are asking him to bring her back to us.


Is there an area in your life you are trying to control? Like Sarai, are your efforts only causing you more pain? We would love to hear how God is teaching you to hand the control back to Him.


Read more about this journey :

What to do when God says no (Part 1)

I'm not Okay (Part 2)







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This post was written by one of our new contributors, Bethany Slocum. Bethany is a mom to 4 daughters,

wife of the pastor, and most importantly a child of the One True King. In her 6 short years of marriage, she’s worked through depression, overcome 3 years of infertility, miscarried 4 babies, birthed her miracle baby, adopted a teenager, adopted a baby through foster care, and sent foster children home. Through all of these experiences, God has taught her to “consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds”, but she is also very real about her struggles. Bethany loves to teach scripture and encourage others towards a passionate pursuit of Christ.





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