At one of the group activities at my daughter’s facility, families were asked to tell about the nicest thing that someone has done for us – individually. We were to discuss this as a family and come with an answer for each family member present. It was a wonderful discussion – “What about this?” we bantered back and forth. Both my daughter and I had several wonderful suggestions. Then she said it – “I know what the nicest thing is for you,” she declared. And she was right. It was the nicest thing.

I had fostered several children over a period of 8 years before adopting my daughter. (We actually had not planned on adopting – but that is a story for another day.) We had asked for infants; my son was still young and we wanted to keep him away from the influences of older children. Children’s Services sent us our first foster child, a little girl, just under two years of age. She was very cute, short, and quite chubby. It was a pleasure to have her in our home. After 11 months, an appropriate relative, an aunt, was identified, and she was able to move on to her permanent home.

I never had any doubt that this was the best possible move for my foster daughter. And when thought of her, I never doubted that she was well loved and cared for by her aunt.

Recently, I had a knock at the front door. I was already in my nightie, and not looking my best, but I decided to answer the door anyway. There stood a smiling, middle aged woman who looked vaguely familiar and a strikingly beautiful young woman I didn’t recognize at all. The older woman called me by name and said, “I’m (Aunt) and this is (Foster daughter’s name). We took a chance that you still lived at the same house.” Stunned, I invited them in. Foster daughter was indeed well loved and cared for…and graduating from high school.

They had come to invite me to her graduation party. This was at a time when I was sorely missing my own daughter; a time when I wondered if I had failed as a mom. They had come to invite me because they valued the time my foster daughter spent with me. It was an encouragement that I really needed at that time. It really was the nicest thing.

My son and I had a good time at the party. I shared one of my favorite memories of Foster daughter: she had a healthy distrust of strangers, and although she was a very pleasant little girl, when a stranger came near her, she would give them the meanest, dirtiest look. When I said I remembered this look, her family laughed – she still does it, they told me. Then she did it; she made the face – now THAT face I would have recognized!

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