When I first became a Foster Dad, I truly believed that it would be extremely difficult to give a child back to a custodial parent. Boy was I wrong; nothing could be further from the truth.
Upon meeting my son and getting to know him, he spoke highly of his mom and his extended family. He told us about Christmas, birthdays, and family reunions positively. In his mind, the good certainly outweighed all the bad. In hearing his stories, I began to notice a shift in my thinking.
Instead of being selfish, and thinking that I was the best or only solution for him, I started to root for him and his mom. Because I cared so deeply for him, I wanted what he wanted. Because of that, I was able to extend some much needed grace to his mom, while praying that she completed her treatment plan to ultimately get her son back.
As awesome as I thought my house was, all this kid wanted to do was return to his home. I ended up helping him (and myself) by changing my attitude about what was best in the situation. I was able to show him what a strong man and a loving family unit looks like in with the intent that one day he can be and create the same.
Despite working to get him where he wanted to be – reunified with his mother -, I learned that one of the most important roles of foster parenting is to simply make sure he saw our home and family as his own and that he could return to us for comfort whenever he needed to. Despite the fact that my son did rejoin his mother, he will always be welcomed in my home and as a part of my family.