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Life Changing Words for Adoptive and Foster Moms

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I received a surprise email from someone who found my blog through one of the DIY/Crafty blogs I link up with each week. It was from an adult adoptee/former foster child. My heart immediately started beating faster and my thoughts raced.  

Imagine my surprise when the letter below came to my email address. I can only warn you to have a kleenex handy as you read these words for adoptive and foster moms. (I have kept the writer anonymous even though she revealed herself to me. )

Dear Marty,

I came across your website in another blog and was immediately touched by your story. You see, I am one of those children. Now 47 years old. I smiled and then cried a little, remembering how difficult is was for my foster parents, Doris and Paul, to try and connect with me at the age of 13. They are both passed now, before I was 23. They are in heaven where they rightfully should be.

My parents, too had demons that haunted them. My Mom grew up as an abused child, and suffers from severe depression and tried to commit suicide twice before I was 4. My Dad, Ed, was a severe, violent alcoholic. It is fair to say that their relationship was a bomb ready to go off at any time. My Mom, abused by my Dad, ran away when I was 5 years old. At the time there were four of us children…one sister 3 1/2, one 16 months and a brother 28 days old. My Dad decided to raise us on his own. I still think in some small way, he believed that Mom would come back to us. Little did he know that I would find her 25 years later.

During those years growing up with my Dad, I was the focal point of my is alcoholic rage. I cannot even try to remember how many times I had black eyes, fat lips, broken ribs and bruises and cuts. And yet, there were the times he was sober and he was a great man then. During his blackouts, I was the subject of his so-called friends affections. I still remember the first time I was se*ually abused. It took me many, many years, and a lot of therapy, to forgive myself and understand that it was not my fault.

I had to forgive myself for a lot of things. I had to admit that I tried to sabotage anything or anyone, however small, that was good or gave me happiness. I just didn’t know how to accept these things, and believe that I was deserving of them. I was the child that was meek and quiet, never allowing anyone to get to close. Poor Paul, the first time he tried to give me a big hug after coming to live with them, I ran and curled up in the fetal position in a corner crying for what seems like hours. All the time Doris sat close by and sang hymns to me, trying to rid my head of torturous thoughts. There were many episodes like this, more than I care to count. Doris, too was given some of the same…it took a long time for me to trust her. I was certain that she would leave and never return, therefore, I would not allow her to get close to my heart. There passing would be yet another turning point for me…you see, it brought all the abandonment issues to the forefront. I would spend many years in abusive relationships and marriages. Thankfully, I was one of the lucky ones, and did not turn to drugs or alcohol, ever.

The one missing thing in my recovery…and yes, I use the word recovery, because I had to recover from the years of torture to myself as well…it was God. You see, I could not understand how this loving person could allow such atrocities to occur to anyone. Of course, at those moments, I didn’t know what true, unconditional love was either. With the help of a new therapist and the man I would come to call my loving husband (of 11 years),  Jeff, I learned who God was and is. I can still remember the day I chose to let God embrace me. I became a whole person. He allowed me to forgive myself. He allowed me to forgive, have peace and love with my Dad and my Mom. A gift I am so thankful for. This gift allowed me to be with my Dad during his passing…and has allowed me a beautiful relationship with my Mom. It has given me guidance through prayer. He has given me solace during the trials of ovarian cancer, lupus, RA and many other health conditions. And most of all, he has taught me love.

What I truly want to say to you is…Thank you from one of those children. For giving us hope and love. For not turning your back or averting your eyes. For making us matter in the turmoil our hearts and heads live with. For the patience and all the hugs. Most of all, thank you for loving us. You truly are Gods blessings.

With love,



Here is what she said when I asked if I could share her story:


Yet you have touched me once again. I am very humbled and happy for you to share my letter of gratitude with anyone. It is up to you if you feel you need to edit or use portions. It is in your hands. It is a part of who I am…I am not ashamed…I made peace with myself and with God. If some or all will help to sooth someones soul or give them hope, then by all means use every word. 


***As I told Anonymous, my husband believes this is the letter we might never receive from our oldest adopted daughter. She may never find healing or we may never be in a relationship with her again. Only God knows but this letter was a precious gift from God to not only encourage me but other adoptive/foster moms. For every mama who walks the difficult path of loving a wounded child: There may not be accolades and applause here on this earth and your children may not ever thank you, but what you are doing is vital, life-changing work. Every day you get out of bed and continue to love in spite of the arrows and barbs thrown at you is a day closer to healing for your child. You are being given opportunities to show unconditional love in a way most people will never understand. I hope this letter touches you and reminds you there is still hope.

This is why I blog. As always, thank you for allowing me to share my heart with transparency.

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  1. Thank you so much. This has given me hope and help to get through the coming days as my son is having a rocky start to middle school. Thank you, thank you!

  2. So, so beautiful! Thank you for sharing this…and thank you anonymous friend for writing this and allowing it to be shared. It has touched my heart. We’re having a rocky start to school here, too, so these reminders are so precious to us. May God bless both of you, Marty and Anonymous for inspiring many who will read this!

  3. Powerful!

    Yes, this is the letter we may never receive from our daughter . . . but it also gives me hope that healing may, in God’s timing, come for her.

    Thanks for sharing . . . and thank you to this precious anonymous women who was willing to share her heart with all of us.

    mama of 12

  4. As a former foster parent and an adoptive parent of two special needs children, I found myself reaching for the Kleenex! I always hope the kids I fostered, who then went home, did well. I too may never receive a letter like this from my oldest, but I know I gave her the best tools for a good life and hope she uses those tools to find her way in this crazy world.

  5. Oh boy the tears came, and are still coming! I don’t know how you are able to do what you do! You guys deserve a medal! And that poor woman, what she went through!!

  6. My heart aches for what Anonymous went thru. You know I’m one of those kids grown up too, my friend, but being on the Mom side of the equation is sometimes harder than the terrible abuse I suffered. Thanks for the timely reminder that there is always Hope. Sometimes, in the midst of the discouragement, I lose sight of that hope for a bit. Yours, and Anonymous’ post brought my gaze back in line. Love you.

  7. I get simple little girl letters that say thank you for loving me from one daughter. I get anger and self sabotage actions from the other. We adopted them both, being bio siblings. We wanted 2 children and figured adopting them would be best. One therapist told the state we were not ready or in the position to adopt 2 kids at one time, especially a RAD kid. We did it anyway. It has only been 3 long/short years. We are a family. We function pretty well together. RAD is a part of our daily life and has brought difficulty to the relationship of these 2 girls with each other. I hope that someday our RAD kid can let herself know we truly love her, and the girls can find a relationship with each other that works. Not sure what this has to do with your post, but it is what I felt so I wrote it.. <3 Pam

  8. Hey girl, thanks for joining in on the Friday Chaos blog party! So glad you linked up with us, and I get to follow you! Wahoo!
    I also wanted to let you know about a coffee mug swap that I am hosting. It is a different spin on the idea that lets you get to know other bloggers better. And you get a pretty new mug just in time for fall! Score! Friday is the last day to sign up and I would absolutely love to have you. I am hoping to get 50 swappers, the more the merrier! Here is where you can get all the deets and sign up to join: http://yellowumbrelladesign.blogspot.com/2012/08/coffee-mug-swap.html
    Love bloggin’ with ya. Talk to you soon 😀

  9. Thank you for sharing this. As a foster parent you wonder sometimes if you are making a real difference. People do not realize what a sacrifice it is to raise another person’s child. I pray that I will make a positive change in each life that I am blessed to care for, no matter how long or short of a time they are in my home.

    1. I’m so glad you were encouraged by this. Adoption/fostering is definitely not an easy road, but I do believe we make a difference in the lives of children that may not have anyone else. God bless you for your faithfulness.

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  12. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the encouragement. We’re seven months in to our adoption of two little boys age 8 and 11. It’s rough! There is much healing that needs to take place in their hearts and much growth that needs to happen in mine. Loving a wounded child is no small thing and something that I’m finding is NOT possible in my own strength. I need God to do a powerful work in my heart and give me the strength to love them through this deep valley of grief they are travelling through. I am trusting that God will do a miracle in their shattered hearts and replace the mad and sad cesspool of grief with love, healing and wholeness.

    1. Sorry, Maria, that I didn’t respond sooner. It was so sweet of you to take the time to leave an encouraging work on my blog regarding our adoption story. It is such a difficult road, known only to those who have experienced it. I pray 2013 holds major healing and growth for both you and your children. God is good!
      [email protected]’s Musings

    1. Thanks, Christie, for visiting Marty’s Musings. I’m glad you found my blog through Diana. I don’t write as much about our story now but you’ll find tons scattered through the years (just search the adoption tab under family). I hope I can encourage you in some way!

  13. Hi I just wanted to say a thank you to you and your Husband and to all the other parents of adopted children in the world for the unconditional love you give your children. I was adopted at the age of 6 months so I have never experienced what your children have gone through but as an adopted child I HAVE felt the feelings of abondonment and hurt and hate towards my birth parents. For a long time I had a need to know where I came from as I never felt I truely ‘fit’. I also felt I was not deserving of a loving relationship “I mean how can anyone love ME if my own mother didn’t” but now at the age of 41 I know this is not true and I am deserving just like anyone else. My mum (my REAL mum not my birth mum) died when I was 30 and I never had the chance to say thank you for all the love she gave me and the patience and understanding and for ultimatly giving me that life I would never have had if they had not adopted me. I wish you and your family lots of love and know that with Gods love and the love you have for eachother you will remain strong and I wish you happiness always xx

    1. Thank you Sian for commenting on my adoptive mom post. Your words are encouraging and heartfelt especially coming from one who is adopted. God has been faithful in our journey and I’m so glad he’s watched over yours. Thank you for blessing me today.

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