Foster mum writes heartbreaking open letter about giving up her first foster child


by Emma Dodds |
Published on

Foster mum Amber Davis from the US wrote a heartbreaking open letter about the baby girl she and her partner fostered and how hard it was to give her away

A foster mum in the US has revealed just how emotionally difficult fostering can be.

Amber Davis, who submitted her story to Facebook blog Love What Matters, penned a beautiful but heartbreaking letter about the last night she would spend with the six-month-old baby girl she and her family had fostered - the first child they had fostered so far.

Amber, who was pregnant at the time, wrote: "We lost the fight. And by 'lost', I mean I didn't get what I wanted. My white picket fence has a hole in it and she's gone.

"I made sure she smelled of lavender before she left. Filled her favorite sippy cup with half water, half apple juice for the ride to her new home for a bit of comfort and distraction. Told her I loved her and purposely made her holler and squirm from being hugged too tight.

"She likes to give hugs, but hates being restrained in one. I wonder how long it'll take her new family to figure that out."

Amber then lists the things about the little girl, who she does not name in the post, that she has learned about her over the last few months: "I wonder if they'll learn that she's a bit reflective of the Princess and the Pea fairy tale in that she has to have a soft pillow to get comfortable and sleep well at night. Otherwise, she'll grunt and continually wake up throughout the night trying to get comfortable.

"I wonder if they'll figure out she loves to fist bump and blow it up right before going to sleep. It makes her giggle."

The little girl, who was born deaf, has now learned some sign language from her time with the Davis family: "If they ask her, she'll sign 'please' for them and let them know when she's all done eating."

She also wistfully added that she hadn't had time to teach her how to say "thank you", but that it "was going to be next".

Amber struggled to deal with the loss of the six-month-old baby girl she had been caring for (Credit: Alamy) ©Alamy

She lightened the tone of the letter by saying that the little girl would be relieved that she would no longer have to wear headbands, like Amber made her wear: "She hates them. I'd get the stink eye every time I told her to leave it alone. Sassypants."

But things take a melancholy turn when she describes the moment she had to explain what was happening to her four-year-old son: "Josiah asked why I was packing up her things last night. I answered immediately from the depths of my heart: 'I don't know.'

"But then I realised I had a responsibility to try to help my growing, curious four-year-old grasp something that I still don't quite understand myself: Why can't she stay?

"As I fumbled my way through an explanation about needing to go live and be together with her sisters, I could see the look of confusion on his face... 'But we're her brothers.'

"My brain scrambled for another answer, but I blanked."

The mum struggled to explain to her four-year-old son why his foster sister had to leave (Credit: Alamy) ©Alamy

Amber tried to placate Josiah with the reminder that their natural daughter would be born soon: "Instead I changed the subject. 'The good news is that Avonlea will be born soon and you'll have another sister to play with! And you will be her big brother and she will always live with us.'"

But it didn't go down well - kids can always see right through their mums and dads, can't they? "I could tell by the look on his face that my lame attempt at explaining things had failed to add up. It just doesn't make sense. Not to him and - frankly - not to me, either."

Amber then got really brutally honest about losing the little girl: "The heartbreak is overwhelming me tonight. The tears just won't stop. This first loss is more painful than I ever imagined it would be and something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy."

She then appeared to question whether she would be able to put her family through the heartbreak again: "So the next time I see that all-too-familiar phone number pop up on my caller ID, asking if we are willing and able to open up our hearts and take in another child who needs us to sacrifice everything we have in order to love them for an undetermined amount of time... I already know what my answer will be.

"Absolutely. Let's do this. For six months or for forever... We're in."

We love Amber's determination to make the world a better place, no matter how much it hurts her.

For more information about becoming a foster carer, simply visit this page.

Have you or a loved one ever fostered a child? Did you find it difficult to give the child away at the end of their time? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

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