Dear Amazing Little One

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Dear Amazing Little One ~

I don’t even know where to start, so I’m just going to write and see what comes out … deal? Cool :-)

Way before you were ever a blip on the radar, I was unsure of myself as being a father. I didn’t have the vision or passion or desire to care for a brand new human being. I was still trying to figure out my own things! But your foster momma, Heather, always had the burning motherly instincts in her. She and WE have tried to have kids for five-plus years with no success. We were, and still are in deep, so we decided that we could try and foster babies for a little while. We’d get the taste of caring for a baby and bring a whole different kind of love to someone else. Because Heather really wanted a baby in the house, I trusted her and supported the idea.

Sooner than later, we got a call asking if we would like to pick up a baby to foster. We didn’t hesitate, we said, “of course!” Once we met you for the first time that was it. That was the moment I KNEW I was ready to take care of this beautiful baby girl. All previous doubts were gone immediately. I can’t explain it, it’s the weirdest thing.

I felt like at that point, this was a brand new world for both of us, but in different ways. You were learning to drink from a bottle, and I was learning how to care for a new human. It was scary and stressful at many times, but you were worth it. And you still are, more than ever!

From the second I met you, I knew there was something special about you. You looked so comfortable, healthy, hungry, strong, and perfect. And nothing has changed many months later. You are a genius. You took on to learning to speak so young. People are constantly blown away when you say, “Hi people!” when for other kids your age, they’d barely be able to say “momma”. It’s obvious that your genetics are strong. I just hope that Heather and I were able to provide you the best possible start of your life that was humanly possible. You were worth every moment.

It’s just crazy to think … we are not the same genetics and don’t share the same friends with your family, but the love feels the same. It even feels greater at times. You were in need of a safe place and we raised our hands. We were going to love you just as we’d love our biological baby. No question.

And that same love we felt and still feel for you was felt from you. You are freaking adorable! Your hugs, your kisses, your deep belly laughs, your slobbery elephant sounds, your demands to do my mouth pop sounds, your deep interest in music, and how comfortable you are. You radiate. Your energy is SO dang strong. When you set your mind to what you want, you make sure you are getting your way. You never questioned yourself, you plowed through until you reached your goal. What an amazing quality in a person! You’re all confidence! But you are a perfect blend of confidences, but not mean. You care so much for the people and animals around you. You love unconditionally.

I’ve learned so much from the way you love. Thank you. Not many parents would openly say that their babies are some of their best teachers! You were for me.

Patience, love, empathy, focus, curiosity, sweetness, confidence, bravery, strong. I can go on, they are all things I’ve learned from you. You’ve shown me a new way to approach life. You’ve shown me where to work on myself to become the best man I can be. I give that credit to the two strongest women in my life, my mom and Heather, often, but I’m going to add you to my Top three strongest and intelligent females I know! (You’re soon to be a woman.)

As a foster parent (or parent in general), you get to trust and let go. Trust that our kids are always safe and to let go when it’s time for our kids to take a leap into their next chapter. And for us both, that time is now. It is gut-wrenching to think we might not ever see or hear from you again, but maybe that’s selfish of me. It’s all about you. And it is about me trusting that you will always be safe and thrive.

And maybe that is just a part of life … to trust and let go. It is part of any evolution and way you grow into something better. Kind of like learning how to walk. Once you strung together a couple of steps, it only took you about a week to get to walking really well. You trusted in yourself and let go so you could walk! It was an amazing feeling being the only one to see you walking confidently around. We were watching Aunt Bree’s improv show, but you kept yelling “BB!” at her, so I had to take you out of the theater. But that was okay, you and I hung out for 45 minutes. And we spent that time walking together around the concession area back and forth. That’s when you really started to trust yourself that you were good at walking and you let go of those old crawling habits.

We’ll all get through this “trust and let go” chapter – stronger, more intelligent, and more loving than before. Just remember that this is how we grow and to always keep a positive mental attitude. With that and your goals in mind, you’ll always be able to get what you want.

I feel like I can write all night (it’s 1:40 am) so I’ll wrap it up…

This transition will be very tough. We’ll get through it. Just please know that we are always here for you. We trust in you and your family to be happy, healthy, and have fun. That’s what we all deserve.

I don’t know what your future looks like (I would love the opportunity to be in it), but I’m confident you’ll be just fine. Please remember to be your sweet, caring, intelligent, determined, curious, strong, loving self that you are. Stick to these natural talents/qualities and you’ll love life. You don’t even know, I’m SO EXCITED to hear/witness the beautiful, smart person of the future. That vision makes me happy and sad at the same time.

I’m so happy that we were given the opportunity to care and get to know you. I thank your parents for bringing a wonderful baby into this world. You are one of the wisest teachers I have. That piece of you and our memories will be remembered as the happiest period of our lives. The lessons you taught me will carry on until I die. I can only thank you for that.

I want to keep talking/writing to you because I don’t want it to end. We’ve had such a fun adventure together, one that could be a movie. It’s now an adventure we’ll go on separately. Unless we have the opportunity to be in your life, I trust you in having the BEST adventure ever.

You are amazing. Please keep being amazing. I’m rooting for you so hard. You’re my little girl and always have my full support.

I know we’ll speak soon. You make me so happy and proud. I love you so very much. Don’t ever forget that, please.

Have fun, Bubba.

Your Foster Dada, Joe