I heard her up in her room crying. Words of desperation and grief spilled from her lips, “Mommy, where are you? Come back, Mommy!”

My heart clenched? She misses her mommy. I know she does. Sometimes I want to continue in life as if the child living under my roof isn’t dealing with deep loss and hurt, but the reality is, she is.

Foster care is home to children who are hurting. Their lives have been torn away from the only normalcy they’ve ever known. Whether their mommy and daddy have been good to them or not, the mind-boggling reality is that most every child in foster care has the same heart-wrenching question, “Mommy (Daddy), where are you?”

She isn’t able to put into words all that she feels, but tonight, as her foster momma, I pen these heartfelt words that I know she longs for you to hear.

Dear Mommy (Daddy),

Tonight the sweetest little girl hugged my neck and kissed my cheek. As she said her prayers, and I tucked her into bed, I thought of YOU. I could see the pain behind her closing eyelids. It’s not me she wants, it’s YOU.

She is waiting on you to come back. She wants you to get healthy and make things right. She wants you to be the one who kisses her Goodnight, packs her lunches, drives her to school, praises her for a job well-done, and tucks her in at night. It’s not me she wants, it’s YOU.

She doesn’t care how many mistakes you have made, or how many wrongs you haven’t made right. She wants YOU.

I find it the most beautiful gift to be given the opportunity to care for your daughter. She is vibrant, loving, funny, beautiful, and full of charm. I look at her, and I see you.

I know God created this child for you, and you for her. He intended you to be her mom, always and forever. God gave you the greatest gift life gives us, a perfect and precious child. And, though she feels you slipping away, it’s not me she wants it’s YOU.

Though I can’t condone the choices you have made or the life you lead, I do cling to hope and the power of forgiveness. Your daughter and I pray for you every day and believe for change–change that can’t come soon enough.

Because…

Tonight, she cried out, “Mommy, where are you? Come back Mommy!”

And, tonight, I’m crying out too. It’s not me she wants, it’s YOU!

Sincerely,

The Foster Momma

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