This letter was written by my friend, Letty. When I first read her words, I had to pause several times to collect myself. It’s such a beautiful expression of authentic love. Be prepared to experience the tenderness of her heart and the unique outlook she has on fostering. If you want to grab a tissue, do it before you read any further!___________________________________________________________
Dear Foster Baby R,
You came to us on a warm May evening six days after my 37th birthday. Your eyes darted around the room as you tried to get your bearings on where you were. I sat down at the table with caseworkers and signed paper after paper, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off of you. You were the sweetest little thing I had ever seen.
The lady who was holding you asked my husband, “Do you want to hold her, Dad?” I had never heard anyone call him Dad before. My heart and mind were exploding with so many feelings.
That night and many nights after, you cried for Mama, and I know she cried for you. While you were sleeping, I read your case file, and my heart broke for you.
Three days later, I broke down crying at a friend’s house at the thought of having to send you back.
Two weeks later, I met your mom. She cried on my shoulder while we hugged. I told her that I loved her too, and I would take care of her baby until she was better. I knew you belonged together, and my heart ached.
The house you came into was a quiet one. Daddy and I had been married for 6 years, and we owned two lazy dogs. We played piano from time to time, watched movies on the couch, and had lazy weekends. We tried to have a baby of our own but the stress of that got to be too much. We gave up after a few years and just resolved to enjoy our lives again. If you ever encounter fertility struggles, please don’t let it steal your joy.
Although fertility treatments never appealed to me, I did have the stirring from deep within to adopt. I knew kids needed good homes, but I had no idea what foster care really was, or how it would flip our plans to start a family upside down.
The verse that rings so true for us, is Proverbs 19:21, “many are the plans in a person’s heart, but the Lord’s purpose prevails”.
Fostering, for us, is no longer about starting a family; it’s about healing one.
It’s about being a family to you and loving your real family too. It’s about getting a Mother’s Day gift from your daycare and passing it along to your mom because she needs it more.
It’s getting a call from your mom to tell me Happy Mother’s Day because she’s grateful I’m taking care of her baby while she can’t.
It’s about our family risking potential broken hearts because they’re loving you with reckless abandon, too.
It’s feeling empty and full at different times of the same day.
It’s celebrating with your mom because she got your room all set up for when you go home and crying in your room at our house when I imagine it empty.
I’m writing you this letter so that you know we didn’t abandon you. You’re going to live with your grandma soon, and this will be hard. You will wonder where we are. You will wonder why you are sleeping in a new bed and going to a new school. You will cry for us, and we won’t be able to explain this because you are still a baby.
One day, this will all be behind you. You might not ever remember a moment of this season, and that is-honestly-the best thing I can hope for.
From the moment I saw your little face, I loved you. You made me a mom for the first time, and Dad will always be your Dada.
Fostering is hard. It’s gut wrenching and frustrating and confusing, yet I don’t regret one single day I spent with you.
You are blessed and highly favored by God. When people see you, I honestly think they see Jesus. They cross rooms just to touch your face, and they rarely stop staring at you. They are so happy to see you, the way I would be if I was getting to see Jesus for the first time.
For one year, Jesus lived with me in my home, through you. I got to see Him every day. His precious work is in your smile and His gentle comfort is in your “squeezies.”
I’ll pray for you every night before bed, and I’ll never stop loving you.
Letty Romero is a Certified Foster Mom and a freelance Video Producer, Editor, and Writer. A graduate of Texas State University, Letty currently resides in San Antonio, Texas with her husband Jared and their two dogs, Darth and Leia.
I met Letty on my Life Plan Retreat. She has an incredible heart for others and became a fast friend. She won’t brag about her mad video skills, but I will. She tells amazing stories with the videos she produces. Check out her work at https://www.uncommoncollectivesa.com.
To learn more about fostering in San Antonio, visit childrensshelter.org or donateyoursmalltalk.org.