Get Too Attached – A Journey in Foster Care Part 1


“I could never do it. I’d get too attached.”
“You’re a saint.”
“I don’t know how you do it.”
“What does it take to become a foster parent?”

I’ve heard it all. Some kind, some not so kind, and some who mean well but it doesn’t always come across that way. For the most part, people asking these questions don’t really know anything about foster care and believe me, I welcome positive, genuine knowledge-seeking questions. I am extremely passionate about foster care and I’ll answer questions for hours in order to help someone understand more. I truly love foster care. Sometimes I think I might love it a little too much.Get too attached: Foster Care Journey

“I could never do it. I’d get too attached.”

If you truly believe that you’d get too attached, then PLEASE consider becoming a foster parent. These kids desperately need people who are going to get too attached and advocate for them every step of the way. Reunification is the number one goal of foster care and as a foster parent, supporting that goal is vital.

However, in the meantime, these kiddos need to build strong relationships with people who will love them unconditionally as if they are their very own. Foster care can be tough. And of course, it’s heartbreaking when they leave, BUT there’s also a huge celebration and moral victory that occurs alongside that heartache.

I remember when our first placement went home, a little boy and girl sibling group. I sobbed uncontrollably the entire hour drive home after dropping them off for the last time. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do because I “got too attached.” However, the victory in them being able to reunite with their sweet momma was the most amazing thing we’ve ever been a part of! So please, get too attached. Even though it’s hard on your heart, it’s SO good for theirs.

“You’re a saint.”

Oh goodness. I’m far from a saint. Sooooo, so far from a saint. I heard a quote once that said, “When you’re blessed with more than you need, build a longer table, not a taller fence.” I wish I knew who to credit those words to because I think about this saying on a daily basis. I’m not a saint. I’m just someone who has been blessed with way more than I deserve and my husband and I chose to give back in this way. We truly felt like this was what we were meant to do and after a lot of thought and prayer, we decided to take this step. It has been a wild ride, but it’s been so amazing, too.

“I don’t know how you do it.”

Okay, some days neither do I. I do know I drink a lot of coffee, extend a lot of grace to myself, and have an amazing support system. Did you know that when you become a foster parent people around you who are foster parents come out of the woodwork and become a community with AND for you? Okay, I’m exaggerating a little, but in all seriousness it was incredible. Almost immediately after we became licensed (actually, a little before too), friend after friend said they were also were becoming foster parents or already were. BOOM. Community. Support. Everything you need to do this. It was right at our fingertips. I do know we were very fortunate in finding this community of fellow foster parents. They have been our lifeline this past year and a half. We would be lost without them. Also, coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

“What does it take to become a foster parent?”

This is where it can get a little time consuming and intricate. The first step would be to decide if you want to go with a private agency or through the county where you reside. We personally chose a private agency because we have friends who recommended them to us. We are so grateful they did. However, this is all personal preference. You do what you feel is best for your family. Ask around to see what other people prefer. We have friends who go through the county and they’ve also had a great experience. As I said, it’s all personal preference and what you feel is best.

Once you make this decision, you’ll go through classes, background checks, First Aid & CPR, home studies, fingerprints, interviews, etc. This is the tedious/time-consuming part. After all the hard work, it’ll all be worth it. What else does it take to become a foster parent? It takes a lot of grace, patience, love, and compassion. It’s not an easy journey by any means, but the end result is the most extraordinary thing you’ll ever experience. Our first placement has been reunited for 7 months now and I still think about them daily. They will forever be “my kiddos” and that thought has completely changed my heart and the way I “do” foster care. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and yet, in some ways, love pouring out of me is so easy. I never knew I could love a child so much that in no way belonged to me.

I encourage you to search your heart.

I’ve had so many people reach out to me who have considered becoming a foster parent. If it’s something that’s ever been on your heart, please feel free to contact me. You can find me on Facebook at The Space Between or on Instagram @alli.cooley. I want to hear from you so please don’t be afraid to reach out to ask questions. I’m an open book as much as I’m allowed to be.

Are you intrigued by foster care, but you know this journey isn’t for you? I get it! Are you always wondering how you can still be involved without having to actually become a foster parent? You’re not alone! Stay tuned for part two of my series Foster Care: How You Can Help.

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Allison Cooley
Alli is a wife, and girl mom to three awesome girls ages four and under. She's also a boy mom to two dogs (Desmond and Rocky) and a cat (Pancake). She stays busy as a stay at home mom but manages with the help of Jesus, coffee, essential oils, and lots of grace. Alli and her husband, Brandon, are licensed foster parents with huge hearts for adoption and foster care. She's a firm believer in being transparent and genuine and loves relating with other moms in whatever season they're in. She recently started a Mommy Meet Up group in her home town of Findlay. She's a little bit crunchy, unicorn loving, vacuum hating momma who can't wait to go on this journey with you!


  1. Allison, this is wonderful! Thanks for all you do for those kids and their families! I would love to be a foster parent, but my husband is dead-set against it. However, when our kids are older, he’s open to adopting (so pray for us that he really will be open to that idea!) In the meantime, I’m looking forward to your next article, as I’d love to support foster parents!


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