Two years ago, Jamie Finn did not know exactly what to expect when her family welcomed their first foster child into their home.
Finn said the baby girl was so afraid that she did not smile for days. As time went by, the foster mother said she noticed many things that her little foster daughter “should have” been doing but couldn’t.
Two years later, Finn said her foster daughter has made huge progress. Last week, she wrote a touching letter to the little girl to celebrate their two-year journey together. The Daily Mail reports Finn and her family are in the process of adopting the little girl and making her a permanent member of their family.
In the letter to her foster daughter, published at Foster the Family, Finn remembered their first meeting:
I had never known a baby to be so afraid, never seen a child so young fight not to be. It was days before I knew you could smile. Your teary eyes and tight-lipped half smile are all I can picture from your first days and all the pictures from those first days show. It was days before I knew you could crawl. You sat glued to one spot, figuring out your new surroundings after knowing nothing but the playpen you’d spent all your time in before. I would soon realize all of the things you “should have” been doing and couldn’t, and we worked together to accomplish those things. During your first year in our home, you achieved and overcame so very much.
Every couple of months over the past two years, I have marveled at who you’re becoming, at how much you’ve grown. I’ve seen you overcome your fears and insecurities, seen you press into people rather than away from them, seen you progress and grow. I keep thinking you’ve “arrived” only to see you come even further. You continually amaze me.
In the past two years, Finn said she watched her foster daughter overcome her past experiences with neglect and become a “outgoing and brave and spunky” child. A few weeks ago, Finn said she realized how much her daughter has grown when the little girl told her that she loved her for the first time.
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You climbed on my lap, you kissed me, and you told me that you loved me. You had never done that before. You were never comfortable with it before, and I never wanted to make you uncomfortable. But you finally did it. I returned the kiss and repeated the words, as I had so many times before. But this time I had tears in my eyes.
The foster mother concluded by assuring her little girl that she would always be there for her and always love her.
The Finns’ foster daughter is one of approximately 415,000 children in foster care in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of those, about 100,000 are available to be adopted.
Because of families like the Finns, more children in the foster system are finding nurturing homes where they can receive the reassurance that they are wanted and loved.