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Letter to my adopted daughter

My name is Linda Williams, I am a foster and adoptive parent. I have an article that I feel has value to all foster and adoptive families. I hope you can use it.

Tami's Story

The saying: "it takes a Village to bring up a child" has been heard over and over. I have to say the life of my former foster daughter took our village in my small town in Alabama to help her dreams come true. Tami's story begins with my family five and a half years ago.

Tami came into our home as a foster child, her brother had already lived with us a year. Tami was the middle child of a sibling group of 4. She was what the real world calls the middle child, she came into our home very quiet, very compliant. She was also our middle child. We had 2 adopted kids and her brother, she fit in the middle. I began to teach Tami to take up for her rights in the family, she learned this very well after a while. Tami was always very helpful and cheerful.

Over the years we would talk about her future. We went several different directions, one being our family adopting her. She would also comment at different times that if we couldn't adopt her then she would like to be an only child or the oldest child in a family. We knew her termination was not going to be soon so we just left our thoughts with each other.

I became seriously ill and didn't know if I would live. Tami became my Mom, she was there for me when the rest of the family was having a hard time adjusting to Mom being sick. I wrote an article in our local newspaper telling about Tami's story and how she went to friends homes and family shopped. A school teacher at Tami's school recognized this article was about Tami, she started to pray for a new family for Tami. I began praying knowing we were planning to adopt Tami.

I received a phone call about a year later from a young Mother asking if Tami could come and be a Mother's helper with her young girls. Tami was excited about earning money, so she started going over to Mary's home. Tami would go out of town with this family , she began to enjoy her new friends. I got a phone call one day from Mary asking about adopting Tami, my heart stopped, because I had never really thought Tami would leave our home.

I stalled and talked to my husband that night, we both knew because of my health and Tami needing special attention instead of being a middle child forever we prayed, we grieved, but we knew we had to put us aside and give Tami her future. We approached Tami about her friends adopting her and at first she wouldn't have anything to do with it. She liked things the way they were. I was fine with it to, but as time went on Tami began to get attached to Mary and her family.

Tami finally said, yes Mom to adoption, but we came up with the idea of maybe Mary being her foster Mom first. Tami's siblings were threatened by her being adopted and made it hard for her. We went through some uncertain moments, but Mary and her family and my family wanted what Tami wanted.

To make a fairy tale real on Dec.1st 2000 Tami moved into her new home with her foster/adopted family. She only moved a mile from our home, she gets to stay in the same school and we have become very best friends with her new family. We have family get-togethers and we all laugh that, Tami has 2 dads to screen her boyfriends and 2 dads to walk her down the aisle someday, her new family also says we get to pay for half of her wedding!

Tami has become a child advocate for foster and adopted kids, her story should be every foster kids story. Foster kids should not have to give up their past families to get to their forever family.

My family has been in foster care 17 years. I had always felt that when it was time to do something different with kids, I would have a baby to hand over to an adopted family. I never realized my baby would be 12 years old and taller than her new adopted family. It took a community to care enough about a 12 year old little girl to give her a very large extended family. I have done foster care for so many years I haven't seen many "Happy Ever After's", but Tami and our families are living that happy ever after. Every child deserves families that love them and will share their lives with love from everyone.

I am not a professional writer as you can tell, but we as foster/adoptive parents have to realize our kids need their past and future to help them heal and feel safe. We all gained in our happy ever after story and I hope other foster and prospective adopted parents think of the needs of the whole person in their child.

Thanks, Linda Williams
109 Dawns way
Trussville al. 35173


A letter from foster Mom Linda Williams to her adopted, former foster child....Katherine.

Over 12 1/2 years ago, God brought you and Paul into our home as our first foster kids. We really didn't know what to expect or even know how to approach you. You were Paul's Mother at 2 1/2. You wouldn't let me do anything to help him and he was just a baby. It was hard for you to let us show you love and hugs were not even thought about. You never gave us a dull moment. The saying "if it wasn't nailed down" ran true with you. You were into everything and every one else's things. I remember about 3 months after you came to live with us I found my new camera in the bathtub with you and Paul so your first few months were picture free.

God allowed us to adopt you and Paul when you were 5.

You have grown through some very difficult times, dealing with foster care, and adoption. It has been very hard for you when we have had so many foster kids come and go. All of the kids that lived in our house became your brother and sisters. I have always been so proud of you that you have a gift with special needs kids and older people. You give unconditional love and time to your special friends.

I am writing this letter about you because you have become my best advocate for foster and adopted kids. You have helped me in so many ways. The most important part is that you continue to share Dad and myself with so many kids and show no jealousy. You have gone to Montgomery so many times meeting legislatures and helping us this past session with taking foster dolls (see:AdoptBabyDoll project ) to the state house. You would talk to these legislators as if you were the adult, most of the time you were the adult, you knew about foster care, they had no clue! You have addressed letters, wrote doll stories, giving advice. You are the woman of the house when I go out of town trying to save foster and adopted kids.

I thank God he brought you and Paul into our life and I look forward to the day when I see how God has used all of your experiences when you become an adult. Thank you for allowing me to be your Mom.
You are my unsung hero



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