Beyond the extra faces to wipe and diapers to change, being a foster mom often means playing defense and keeping your foster kids from hearing questions or statements from friends and strangers that will add unnecessary hurt to their already difficult lives. Wherever you go, you'll be fielding outrageous questions or hearing things people feel fine saying to foster moms that, honestly, they wouldn't dream of saying to or about biological moms.
For several months, we had a foster baby girl, who was just 10 weeks younger than our 8-month-old daughter. They were the same size but looked completely different; our daughter was dark and a little scrawny and our foster babe was fair and had thighs for days. Even a trip to the grocery store evoked so many questions from strangers about why I was pushing around a double stroller with these clearly unrelated babies. The first time my husband joined me on an excursion he couldn't believe how brazen perfect strangers could be, and we both expressed our gratitude that this foster baby was too young to understand what was being asked about her.
A foster mom friend, who has two sisters in addition to her four girls, recently told me she couldn't believe how often people ask her in front of her 3-year-old foster daughter whether they were going to adopt her. For a child who already has anxiety about where she is and who she belongs to, this would set her (and her foster mom) off on a days-long discussion about where she belonged, simply because a stranger or friend or even family member didn't have the wherewithal to keep their mouth shut and wait for a more appropriate time to ask the question.
The best rule of talking about foster kids to foster moms is to refrain from asking or commenting about the situation in front of the kids. And, if you can, try to imagine that they're just like my biological kids, because it's my goal to treat them that way, too.