Holt adoptive mom Libby Wendland writes a heartfelt letter to her daughter’s foster mom in Thailand, who cared for her in the six years she waited to join a family through adoption. This letter originally appeared on Libby’s blog, milestoeden.com

My husband and I just adopted our beautiful 6-year-old daughter internationally. She was placed in foster care at 3 weeks old until the approval of her adoption. Nothing I could ever give or say could repay her foster parents for the love they gave my daughter while she waited for six years for her forever home. My words will always fall short, but I pray all foster moms/dads know the importance of their job and role in a child’s life. This post is dedicated to two of the world’s best people (Por Kian & Mae Eiat) and to all the foster moms and dads in our world. Your work does not go unnoticed and your love will live through these children for all eternity. All my love and gratitude!

To My Daughter’s Foster Mom,

Eden riding a bike.

I know you will probably never read these words nor will they ever touch your ears to know my heart, but I want to tell you that the day we met, I will never forget or be the same. You showed me the broken hallelujah of loving someone with all your heart even if that love was meant only for a moment. You loving my daughter may have just been a season, but she will carry that love for eternity.

When she trusts me, I know it was because of your trusting hand that held her during those years of waiting and hard transitions.

When she loves me, I know it was because she was first loved by you.

When she asks me to hold her during the night and her little cheek pressed against mine, I know it was because your strong arms held her in her darkest times and those cheeks were kissed a million times before my lips ever touched them.

When she trusts me, I know it was because of your trusting hand that held her during those years of waiting and hard transitions. When she loves me, I know it was because she was first loved by you.

When she lets her daddy play with her with no reservation, I know it was because she knew the love of a good man and was safe in your home.

When she tells me how much I love her, I know it was because you told her about me even though we never met, but you gave her the hope of a loving forever mommy.

When she speaks her opinions and tells us “I’m so smart,” I know it’s because she had a mommy believing in her way before this mommy ever could.

When she tells me she has two mommies, there will never be jealously or competition, because you showed me the depth and beauty to share the title mommy with someone.

Isaac, Libby and Eden Wendland stand between Eden's foster mom and dad in Thailand.
Isaac, Libby and Eden Wendland stand between Eden’s foster mom and dad in Thailand, Mae Eiat and Por Kian, as well as extended foster family members.

When she sings loudly for all to hear and puts on a performance like Lucille Ball, I know it was because you fostered her independence and creativity and let her be her.

When she tells me stories about the rice fields of Buriram or schoolhouse in the village, I know it was because you showed her the beauty and goodness of the country she comes from.

When you told me “she will make her village proud” and she “was the most beloved girl in the whole village,” I know it was because she was loved the moment she was placed in your arms at 3 weeks old when the weight of the world was on her shoulders.

When she cries in my arms and lets me in when she feels scared or unsure, I know it was because she was loved like she deserved — the only kind of love worth receiving, the unconditional kind.

The Wendlands.

When you wonder if your time together meant something or if the pain of her absence captures you in the years to come, may you always know: You may have only loved her for a moment, but your love will be with her all the days of her life.

When the teachers asks about Eden’s heritage and homeland, Eden and I will tell them about a woman who changed our life and who taught Eden’s mommy that loving someone — no matter the amount of time or convenience — is always worth the risk, always worth the pain.

When we fly back home to Thailand in the years to come when questions come and answers need to be found, we cannot wait to embrace you to tell you: Your love covered a multitude of sins. You proved to us that love really does conquer all.

We owe you a million thanks, but for now, we pray we can love her like you did and will spend our life trying to give her the love she deserves.

Here’s to you. Here’s to love.

Eden’s Mommy

Libby Wendland | Forest, Virginia

mom adoptive son and dad holding hands and laughing

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