Dear Lil Guy (as we have affectionately called you in our home), how do we say good-bye to you? In these last 8 months and 1 day, you were a part of our lives as we were a part of yours. You were part of our family. You came to us as a 4 lb 9 oz baby with all kinds of labels placed on you and you leave us as a 20 lb baby with so much happiness. When you came to us, you entered a home not only of love but of prayer. Every night I, your foster dad, placed my hand upon you and prayed for God’s grace, wisdom, love, and protection to cover you. We believed you were a miracle from God.
People have told us that you were lucky to have been received into our home and cared for by us. But I’ve come to think that we were the lucky ones. You were such a blessing to our lives. You brought joy and warmth into our home. You reminded me of the simple and significant value of laughter. You taught me new perspectives on grace and redemption as we watched you heal. Everyday we watched you grow. As you grew in every way, we knew you were triumphing over the odds you faced. You reminded me of the meaning of perseverance. You represented hope to us. You had so much joy in you. You touched other people around you with your infectious smiles and laughs. We will miss you dearly. We were the lucky ones because of you.
Though your time with us was short, we are privileged to be part of your story at the beginning of your life and we are humbled that you were a part of ours. You do not leave us without many tears coming from us. We will never forget you. Though you may not have memories of us, we hope the love, prayers and hope we poured into you will leave a permanent mark upon your soul. We are glad to have been given this opportunity to love you. As you leave us, I hope you know that we are so proud of you. You have already done so well in life. You keep doing what you’re doing.
As you continue your journey in life, know that there’s no trial too big for you to handle if God is at your side. Keep him close. He loves you more than you can possibly imagine and he desires to be near you. Seek wisdom, understand faith, discover the meaning of grace and above all know the reality of love – both in receiving love and in giving it. And remember that true love often has to come and be given with sacrifice. Wherever you are, you will remain in our prayers.
We love you from the bottom of our hearts. We’ll miss you. We are so very proud of you.
Your foster Mom and Dad,
Brian and Ellen Chan
(This letter was included in the end of Lil Guy’s two volume “Lifebook,” an album of photos and words of encouragement that Ellen and I put together, which gets sent with him. The court ruled today on reunification. My wife and I have been balling our eyes out today. It’s incredible how significant and meaningful 8 months and 1 day can be – not only to the child but also to us).
One thought on “Foster Dad 13: Saying Good-bye”
What a wonderful tribute to Lil Guy! I hope and pray he will one day know his story. It may have started off rocky for him at first, but he has received and reciprocated more love then he will ever know. He has been offered the grace of God through your sharing and hopes for him. Your Faith in God, when you are unsure of the unknowns is what you will need to be sure of. Sometimes we all question “Faith,” but it is represented in so many ways in our lives, we just have to open our hearts and eyes to it. I know you know this to be true. I admire you both greatly. I have a similar story to share with you, similar, yet so different. Last September, three days after my 40th birthday, I received a call from children and youth. They had our great nephew, age 14 months, currently placed in a foster care, and were looking for eligible family for him. His parents were both incarcerated for child endangerment. Anyway, he sat in Foster care nearly a month before they could find him a fit and willing relative. Without all of the details……our lives changed forever. He is now 2 years old and we just received full custody last Monday. I have kept in touch with his foster family from day 1, and even take him to their day care one day a week so they can remain in his life. I too, have been vigilant about keeping his life story up to date and one day, when the time is right, will share the info with him as well. Fact is, his parents do both love him dearly, they were just not in a position to provide adequate care, or a stable environment. They have resumed supervised visits and our little one is as happy as he can be.