Ask any host mom how hard it is to say good-bye to a child she’s come to love, and she will tell you that it is heartbreaking. But most will also tell you to host anyway. Because our host families believe that serving means doing what is best, not what is easy on the heart. They walk in obedience to God’s call to love sacrificially. Even when it hurts.

Below is a beautiful reflection from a host mom who just said good-bye to a baby she loved whole heartedly for the past seven months. We are so grateful for her and the countless other host families who lay down their lives and their hearts for others.

Grieving the loss of baby Ashley* occurred the minute we heard we were getting her. We knew that she would go home to her mom when the time came and that is what we wanted for her!

We have loved her to the fullness that we as humans are capable of loving anyone! We have been told so many things over the last 7 months things like:

“I could never do that”

“I would grow too attached”

“How are you going to give her back?”

My usual reply is that God has called us so he will equip us! Those were big words for not knowing the feelings we would experience as we drove away from the child that we have nurtured since she was 2 days old.

The funny thing about grief is that it can hit you in the most inopportune times. Like when you are walking through Target….I’m not talking about tears in your eyes whimpering! I’m talking flat out ugly cry. Sobbing, choking, blubbering, head turning, humiliating, I’m glad my kids weren’t with me, (so embarrassing mom) crying.

Knowing that Ashley’s momma loves her more than we could fully comprehend makes it easier… not easy! But being able to have the opportunity to love and lose baby Ashley is worth the grief!

Right now we are clinging to Psalm 34:18:

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

We know this journey is not easy. But we also know the journey is worth it for the sake of the kids and families we come alongside. Our hope and prayer is that more courageous host parents will be willing to step in to sacrificially love vulnerable kids until they are reunited with their parents. It is a beautiful, hope-filled act of service. And we would love for you to join us.


Let us know how you’d like to serve by clicking here. 

*Name changed for privacy