The phone rang this evening, and it was the mom of two foster daughters from years back. She wished me and the kids Happy Thanksgiving, as her children were all yelling "Happy Thanksgiving, Aunt Diane" in the background. She said they were thinking of us and wanted us to know. We talked a while and she brought up the past. She said she is so thankful today for how her life has changed, for God, and for her family. She included me in the family part, saying I will always be Aunt Diane to the kids, even though we don't see each other as much anymore. I told her she was a major success story and that I was so glad things worked out as they did. She said thank you and that I really helped her.
You see, nine years ago I received her two youngest children (ages 1 1/2 and 8 months) as foster placements. Her five children were in foster care for two years. She fought a very difficult, uphill battle to overcome drugs and domestic violence, and she won! She found the Lord and made him the focus of her life. She also learned how to take care of herself and her children. Although it looked like I might adopt those two girls, this mom got it together in time. It was hard on me when I was told that mom had progressed enough to begin reunification, but after just a couple of overnight visits, I saw how much she loved her children and I started to soften toward them going home. Reunification took over three months, during which time she and I built a relationship that continues today.
I am thankful today as well. I thank God that I have been able to watch these two girls grow up along with their siblings, that their mom succeeded in bringing them back home and has become a very good parent, and that I didn't adopt them, because I wouldn't have Sweets, Buddy, and BB today if I had. God's plan is always bigger and better than ours!