Foster parents: how do you deal when your foster child is adopted by another family?

January 14 |
@offbeatfamilies runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter.
By: fruity monkeyCC BY 2.0
My husband and I are in the EXTREMELY EARLY phases of foster parenting — essentially, we're having numerous conversations about whether or not fostering a child is something we could emotionally, physically, and financially handle in the coming year or two. We're talking about whether or not we'd want to foster an infant or teen (our state desperately needs foster families for those two groups), if we want to disrupt birth order (Jasper is almost four), and, most importantly: how we'll cope if/when our foster child goes back to her birth family or is adopted by another non-biological family.

Obviously both outcomes are awesome for the child, but I'm not sure how WE would deal. We're both gravitating to fostering over adoption for a whole bunch of reasons that basically boil down to it's what we think would work best for us, save for not knowing how we'd deal with this one issue. How do you emotionally cope when your foster child moves on to a permanent family?