Dear Foster Mom,

You do hard things.

You stand in the gap for little ones in the hardest days of their lives. You’re the middle mom, filling the space between brokenness and redemption. You love them as they are your own, expecting nothing in return.

You constantly have people in your home measuring, inspecting, making sure it’s “up to code.” You deal with over-worked, under-paid, case workers that rarely see the actual heart beyond a name on a file. You get calls in the middle of the night, in the middle of work, in the middle of moments with your family, and you drop everything.

Because there is a child who has been ripped away from the only familiar they’ve ever known. They’ve experienced trauma we can’t begin to comprehend, and now they have no one.

But you, sweet mama.

You spend those first several nights, walking, bouncing, and praying the withdrawals end soon. You wonder when it was the last time they ate. How does this one fall asleep? Do they have a lovie?

Your heart aches at the brokenness.

But you don’t just look from afar, you step in it, just like Jesus does. You’re not afraid to get your hands dirty in their mess or stay up each night rocking, singing, and kissing that sweet one when you have to work the next day.

You love because He loves. You’ve seen His worth. And even though this dear one has been forgotten, you know the Father hasn’t missed one moment of their precious life.

He matters to the Father, so he matters to you.

I see your heart wilt when people say, “I could never do that, I’d get too attached.” I also see your teeth clinch and your fists tighten because that comment infers you are inhuman. Do you have such a hard heart that you wouldn’t get attached? Of course you get attached. But you also know this is Love, and Love expects nothing in return.

Love does hard.

So you make those sweet footprint projects, you take pictures to capture every moment you can, and you video those firsts, because he deserves for someone to see them. And you’re there cheering and clapping and so very proud.

Because right there in the middle, for these moments, he’s yours. You treasure them in your heart, knowing the Father is watching too.

Months pass. This sweet one is apart of you. You’re his mama. This is your family.

And then just like that, his time in the middle, with you, is over.

And you are heartbroken.

Yet, unselfishly glad for him.

Although you knew this day would come, loving, expecting nothing in return is painful. That’s why there aren’t many of you. Because what you do is hard.

But sweet mama, He sees.

He sees that dear one. He loves him more than you can even dare. He’s watching lovingly as every detail of his life unfolds. And the time he spent with you, burned forever on his sweet life the love of faithful Father, the only love, possibly he will ever know.

And that same Father sees your breaking heart. And I can’t help but think how proud He is of you. Because what He wants most for you is to look like Him.

And the way you just loved, is His spitting image.

You’ll always remember that precious soul. He made you a mama, and that is so special. But you’ll soon start to remember the days before him, your heart will begin to heal, and before long, you’ll get another call.

Someone else will need you.

And you’ll know this one too, matters to the Father, and they’ll matter to you. So you’ll stand in the gap again, being a middle mom, loving fiercely, expecting nothing in return. And you’ll get attached again. Of course you will.

But that’s why they’re aren’t many of you. Because you do hard.

And your love, foster mama, it’s the spitting image of the Father’s.

*Photos by

Rachel Ackerman Photography