Our little foster baby will go home soon.

I don’t know how my wife and I are going to react when that day comes. We’ve been strong for these three and a half months, firmly aware that the baby who was three weeks old when she came to live with us would at some point return to her parents.

But how can you just give them back? I’d love to be a foster parent, but I could never give them back.

That’s the question we’ve heard from a handful of people when they meet our foster baby, and we understand. It’s a natural human reaction.

But this we believe and have believed since we began this journey as foster parents:

This child is not ours. She’s awfully adorable and already has a very sweet nature at four months, but a family is waiting patiently every day to get her back.

This is not about me or my family. We do this because we choose to help a family in need. Children are removed from their families for an assortment of reasons, and one thing that foster parents can never change is the bond that immediately forms between the child and the parents and extended family.

Every baby should be held, rocked, hugged, etc. Regardless of the situation the parents have found themselves in, we try to remember that the child didn’t ask for any of that baggage. I feel it’s important for children – babies especially – to have their needs met, form a trusting bond with adults and be as happy and healthy as we can help them be.

So will it be hard? Maybe.

You’ll have to ask me when our baby leaves. I can imagine our home will be a little emptier without her, but we’ll remember that she is in a place surrounded by people who love her.