The problem with fostering parrots is often letting them go. And sometimes, we can’t let go. We joke about “failed fosters” that stay in our homes, but you can’t adopt every single bird that lives with you. Otherwise, eventually you can’t keep fostering parrots.
So how do you decide when it’s emotional and when it’s the right decision? Mostly, this is something you have to answer for yourself. However, here some things to think about when you can’t bring yourself to let go of a parrot you have invested in and who you love.
Why Can’t I Let This Parrot Go?
You need to be honest with yourself about why you cannot bring yourself to part with a parrot. Do you have honest reasons for believing that no one else can give this bird a loving home that meets his needs? Or are you making excuses? You began fostering to help as many parrots as possible, not to add to your flock. So be honest with yourself. Is it possible this bird could be happy in another home?
There is nothing wrong with wanting and even believing that you can give a parrot the very best home possible. However, a good home is negotiable. A good home that isn’t perfect, but only has one or two parrots, may very well be the better home than yours. This is true even if you know all the details of training, enrichment and nutrition. Interaction trumps everything. Everyone wants to be loved best and the most. If you are stretching yourself thin, this isn’t happening in your home.
Most of us grew up in imperfect homes, worse homes, in fact, than those that are vetted to foster a parrot. Yet most of us have wonderful imperfect lives amongst imperfect people. We should be brave enough to let someone else love the parrot we are fostering. Imperfect is often wonderful.
Are The Sacrifices Worth It?
If you are fostering, chances are that you have parrots in your home who you committed to years ago. How much of your time and attention will they lose if you keep another parrot permanently? Or if you adopt your foster and then foster another?
Cleaning cages, training, making food, and one-on-one interactions require time. Most of us are working full time, interacting with our families, trying to spend time with friends and generally managing all of the things required of adults. How much time do you have to share with parrots and also manage “adulting” at the same time? Be honest. Are your parrots getting the short end of the deal?
Sometimes Love Is Love
Once you’ve had all these conversations with yourself, if you can’t talk yourself out of it, then you probably have to adopt your foster. I understand. I did this myself with Morris, a 41-year-old foster parrot who stole my heart and ruled my flock. Morris was old, had some medical issues and I didn’t believe that it was in his best interest to move him to another home. More than that, I just couldn’t imagine him not being in my flock. He’s the only foster that ever broke my resolve.
Morris passed away of heart failure a year after I adopted him, and my flock and I are still a little bit broken-hearted. He would have been wonderful in anyone else’s home. He simply belonged in mine and I’m so very glad we had him for the as long as he had to give us. And if this is the place you find yourself in, then keep your foster.
True love arrives sometimes whether or not you are looking for it. Just be honest with yourself. We don’t get to keep anything we love forever. The question is if the right decision is to let your love go sooner so that someone else can enjoy it. You can always open your heart to the possibility of another affair.