To my foster son’s former foster parent,
If I was writing this letter two years ago it would have been written very differently. I probably would have berated you for the choices you made. I would have accused you of not trying hard enough to connect with the child in your care, and I would have told you how unimpressed I was with your decisions. There is a good chance that my words would have been unkind and hurtful. Luckily, I never got around to writing you a letter back then like I intended to. In two years, well two and a half to be exact, I have learned a lot about being a foster parent, the foster care system, and most importantly, about my foster child. I think it is finally time for me to tell you how I feel.
First, I now know how impossible the foster care system can be to navigate. Unless you are on your game all day everyday it is very easy to get lost in the shuffle. Social workers have far too many cases, the system is completely broken, and unfortunately there are some people who work for DCF that seem to have given up. Some days it genuinely is enough to make you want to scream. I can completely commiserate with the fact that perhaps you just could not deal with it anymore. I do not actually think this was your reason for making the decisions that you did, but I imagine it did play a role. I am sorry if this caused you stress.
I have learned that some placements are simply just not the best fit. Sometimes personalities do not vibe, or life related circumstances make it difficult for one person to give all that they need to give to make a relationship work. Neither of these scenarios is necessarily negative, but they do need to be handled with grace. It is important to talk to other people and let them know how you are feeling and why you might be feeling this way. That way, if the relationship (be it a friendship, romantic relationship, foster parent/child relationship, or otherwise) does end, at least both parties are on the same page as to why. I know how important this is, and I like to hope that this is something you have learned as time has passed as well.
The most important reason I am writing this letter to you is to say thank you. I know this sounds weird, and probably selfish, but I am thankful every single day that circumstances worked out as they did. Although I know the initial pain of having to change homes was difficult for my foster son I also know that the bond we have formed is strong and real. I know that I have watched a child bloom before my very eyes. Did you know that he now plays two sports, makes honor roll at school, went to prom this year, has a license and a car, is a crazy talented writer, has friends, is obsessed with working out, and is just an all around amazing human being? I did, because I am the lucky person who has gotten to watch him experience all of the new and exciting things life has thrown his way. I am the person who gets to help him solve his problems, who gets to have random conversations with him in the car, and the person who gets to watch his face light up when he talks about something that excites him.
I want you to know that I understand that you made the decisions you felt you needed to. Please know that any negativity I once felt has been completely replaced with the pride I have for being able to say this child is part of my family and the love I feel towards this wonderful human being.
I hope time has given you clarity as well and that your life has ended up how you hoped it would.
Current Foster Mom