Parenting teenagers can feel like a thankless job, so when Mary received the following letter from Lydia she was incredibly touched. Mary was happy to share (with the permission of Lydia) this moment with us:
Well…I’m not sure how to thank you for everything you’ve done for me. You always help me with everything and even if I’m suffering with my depression or even when I’m down or mad.
To be honest I’m happy and proud to be your foster daughter. You never give up on me; hardly ever. I’m always blessed that you teach me what is right and wrong and tell me stories to make me feel better and smile. You teach me life lessons.
If my mother was alive, she would be so glad that you are taking care of me and protecting me. I’m so glad that you are in my life now. You are probably the only person I trust with everything and the only person who has been there since my family hasn’t been around or asked about me.
I’m glad to be part of the family and at least to have the best and craziest and funniest family. Half the time I feel like I’m not a foster child. I feel like I’m part of the family.
You have helped me since the beginning until now. You have inspired me so much by all the stories you have told and by what you do every single day taking care of all of us and treating us all the same.
I love you very much and care about you very much—a lot. Thank you for supporting me and the love and care you give me.
16 year old Lydia has been in foster care since the age of three. She has been moved seven times. When Lydia moved in with Mary’s family, she was very angry and felt that everyone had always abandoned her. She trusted no one and was convinced that something must be wrong with her. Mary assured Lydia that nothing was wrong with her, and that she was welcome in Mary’s home.
Lydia is now a junior in high school and is passing all of her classes in spite of this being the third high school she has had to attend. She is very proud of her perfect attendance and is well liked by her teachers and peers. She is looking forward to going to college. Mary describes her as a kind, compassionate and special young lady.