Letter to Ariel*

The following is a letter I wrote to our 9-year old Foster Daughter Ariel*, upon her leaving our home after a nearly 16-month stay with us in our home. The note was handed to her with a bouquet of flowers as she walked out our front door. She was leaving us to move in with her potential adoptive family, who she had been spending weekends with over the past month-and-a-half.

Dear Ariel,

We first met you on November 4th, 2016, when you and Trevor* first came to our home.  Over the past 15+ months, we have had the joy and privilege of raising, helping, and caring for you and your brother, but most of all, we got to enjoy your company, personality and watch you grow into an amazing person.

We made so many memories together, and we are grateful for every one. We remember the first day we sent you off to school, and taking you to the beach for your first time.  There were trips to the zoo to see animals, the Children’s Museum to play with other kids in the vet room, and OMSI to see the LEGO exhibit.  You and Trevor were the first kids we have ever had at our house for Christmas, Thanksgiving, our birthdays, Easter, Halloween, and St. Patrick’s day.  That is something that is very special to us and that we will always remember.  You even helped us move to our new house!

You are such an amazing, strong, confident, and incredible person. You have experienced so much in life, and you continue to amaze us everyday with your positive attitude, determination, and incredible personality. You are a beautiful individual, and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in life. You are amazing sister to your brother, and you have done a great job helping him, caring for him, and especially being patient with him.

Today is bittersweet. We love you so much. You have been an amazing daughter. We always knew that this day would come, the day where you transition from our home towards your forever family, but now it is here.  We are sad that we will not see your big smile around our house as often, or hear you sing in the living room, but we are happy that you are transitioning to a wonderful home with people who will love and care for you as much as we do.  We are happy that although you are not going to be at our house as much, Mark* and Rachel* are gaining a wonderful daughter, and Luke* a great sister.

Always remember, there are so many people in the world that love you deeply. Everybody you have met while living with us will miss you deeply, but are also very happy for you. These people love you and will always be here to support you, no matter what.

This isn’t “good bye”, it is “see you later”, and we will see you soon.


Aaron and Jewell

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6 Replies to “Letter to Ariel*”

    1. Thanks iamnotjared, for reading and for your kind words. There are a lot of emotions that come with fostering, and it is a whirlwind when a child leaves your home, even when you know that it was the plan all along, is done thoughtfully, and is hopefully in the best interest of the child. Grief is definitely one of the more prevalent emotions, but there is also hope, guilt, love, happiness for the family and the child, along with many others. In these more difficult times, we often wonder how much positive “difference” we are making, so comments like yours give us a bit of courage a reinforcement to continue on the journey and help more families and kiddos.

  1. Oh I love this so much. I hear both the heartache and the joy, and all of it is full of truth and beauty. You are both true heroes in our community. I have such admiration for the kind of foster parents you choose to be and I have seen first hand how children thrive in your home. Thank you for your generosity and love! Wish you both all the best!

    1. Thanks Kimberlee, this means a lot, coming from someone we respect so much, and who has interacted and developed relationships with so many families (bio, foster, relative, friends, other) who are intertwined in the system. We love your organization and the amazing opportunity and support you provide. We wish we had kiddos who could attend right now. Maybe soon…

  2. I cried reading this as I have had to say goodbye to so many wonderful foster children. They will all have a forever part of my heart. Beautiful letter and something that little girl will cherish for the rest of her life.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting! Sorry it brought tears to your eyes. This journey comes with a lot of emotions, and they can be hard to explain to those who are not or have not been foster parents. It is so painful when kiddos leave, but it can also be a positive experience, if like Ariel, they are heading towards their forever home and gaining a family.

We would love to hear your thoughts!