Having a foster child leave your home brings up a lot of feelings. It does not matter why the child is leaving the foster home – it’s always emotional. Thankfully, there are some picture books to help Christian foster families talk about this very specific type of loss. These picture books aren’t about fostering, but they are about fear, separation, and grief within the framework of God’s love for us. Sounds a lot like foster care, huh?
Hopefully this prayer and recommended picture books for foster families can help. The prayer can give you words when you are talking to God about tough things; the picture books about God and transitions can give you words when you are talking to your kids about tough things!
I wrote this prayer for times of change in a family with a foster child. Although I initially wrote it because of a desire for peace when a foster child was leaving a home, it certainly fits when a foster child is joining a family, too.
(I talk a little bit about why I care so much about foster families, and provide tips for reading aloud to kids from tough places in this article.)
This is a short prayer for a foster child. It is also a simple prayer, because it is impossible to say out loud all of the heart emotions that come when a child joins or leaves a household. But God knows.
It is my prayer that this will give you a way to talk to God in front of the child, when perhaps there are no words to express all that you are feeling.
(Fill in the name and attribute, and change the “she” to “he” for boys.)
A Prayer for a Foster Child
Dear Heavenly Father,
I bring before you today in prayer this loved child, CHILD’S NAME.
We thank you for making her A GOOD THING THAT SHE IS.
Please keep her safe. May she grow healthy and strong.
Please protect her mind. May she only think the truth about herself: that she is deeply loved by You, and by this family.
We ask you to give us all peace, even though transitions are hard. We know you are with us, always. Please remind us of that in the coming days.
Thank you for giving us the privilege of having CHILD’S NAME in our home.
In Jesus’ name,
Christian Picture Books for Foster Families
To go along with this prayer, I recommend the picture books Quinn’s Promise Rock and Quinn Says Goodbye by Christie Thomas. However, I recommend them for different situations, so make sure to read about each one.
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In Quinn’s Promise Rock, a little owl named Quinn learns from her dad about how God is with her always. The book uses three object lessons to explain three ways that God is with us.
I recommend this book for all foster families. It does not deal directly with loss, but does deal with fear and change.
My favorite part is when Quinn and her dad are in a cave, and Dad says, “God is like this rocky cave. God can protect you during the scariest times in life. When you feel afraid, he is right there, just like this cave, and you can take shelter in him.”
This is a comfort to all of the children in our home, and a good reminder for us parents, too!
Quinn Says Goodbye is about Quinn’s firefly friend leaving her. It is clear in the story that they are most likely never going to see each other again, so keep that in mind. It might not be the right story for all families.
I recommend Quinn Says Goodbye for your family after a foster child has left. It can help your children still in the home to have words to express the feeling of unexpected loss, but also offers the hope we have knowing that God loves us all. Sometimes foster children have to leave the home
The last line of the book is, “She knew that no matter what happened to her little friend, God knew where he was and would always love them both.”
What a fitting, hopeful thought.
The publisher recommends these books for preschool through grade 6. Heads up that they are fairly long, especially Quinn’s Promise Rock, with quite a bit of text on each page, so don’t be surprised if it takes a few sittings for your preschooler to make it through the book.
If you want to go deeper into the book with some activities or discussion questions, the author has provided very nice teacher guides for Quinn’s Promise Rock and Quinn Says Goodbye.
Encouragement for Foster Families
If you happened upon this post, it probably means that you are in the midst of some hard stuff. I just want to share a passage that keeps me upright in the midst of the really hard stuff:
God, the one and only—Psalm 62:1-2 MSG
I’ll wait as long as he says.
Everything I need comes from him,
so why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet,
breathing room for my soul,
An impregnable castle:
I’m set for life.