They Deserved Her — Being a Foster Parent is Hard is an Understatement

Candice Shea Maxwell
2 min readNov 2, 2021

Last week was a hard one for me. I got a bad grade, one of our cats died, and our foster daughter was reunited with her bio-parents.

While we are sad and my heart aches this week as we adjust to a new routine, I wanted it to be very clear when I made the announcement on Facebook that we are happy about this development. We received a lot of sympathy, which is definitely appreciated, but we also got a few responses like She deserved you or She deserved better.

I didn’t like this kind of response because they deserved her.

We knew from day one that reunification was the plan and over 9 months her parents put in the work. Unlike some of the other foster bios we’ve experienced, FD’s bio parents were grateful, patient, and serious about getting her back. They were worried when she was sick, always beaming to see her, and worked hard to graduate from a recovery program, find jobs and a home, and get their baby back.

It hurts not getting to see her smile every day or hear her ridiculous scream talk. I miss her army crawl and her tiny hands. I’ve got my office back now, but it holds so many reminders of the sweet thing that used to inhabit this space. It’s hard to let her go, but her parents told us we could reach out at any time and now she gets to live without the stigma of being in the system or being adopted hanging over her head.

I’ll say it every day, being a foster parent is hard, but we got to have a butterball of joy in our life for a few months and made a tiny (cause she is a baby) impact on a little girls life while her parents were given the time to be better for themselves, her, and their other two boys.

If you have questions about fostering or adopting, especially in West Virginia, send me a message. You can find me here, Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok. I’m always happy to tell it all, good and bad.



Candice Shea Maxwell

“And if I see you, how it changes me. And if you see me, how it changes you.” — Andrew Bird