Good Mail

For whatever reason, when I was a little girl I craved attention.

If nothing else, it has left me with a deep empathy for other sad children, craving the same.

I remember one school I attended, where a big deal was made over a student who had moved to another school.  Letters were written.   A letter was received and read to the class.  I must have been in 2nd or third grade, I think.  (We moved a couple of times that year.)

When we moved, no letter was sent to me, but I tried to send one back.  I even collected can-pull-tabs to send back for the class project.

I never heard anything.

As an adult I know that my own letter probably never reached the school or the teacher.  It is very unlikely that I had the correct address, or even the correct spelling for such a letter, even if I put it in the mail with a real stamp.  When I told my husband years later about my broken heart, how forgotten and invisible the lack of a response made my child's heart feel, I cried for at least an hour.  (---While he held me.  And this has actually become one of my favorite memories now.)




So, it's a huge deal to me as an adult not to allow a child to be forgotten.



Some friends of ours were fostering a little girl who they were hoping to adopt as their forever daughter, but as sometimes happens, this little girl went back to live with her natural mom.  While she was here, being the same age as my own daughter, we got to know her.  Spend time with her.




I don't know when or if we will see her again.  But it doesn't matter.



I hope she won't feel forgotten. 


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15 comments

  1. This is so awesome. I worked as a caseworker for DCFS and still work with a lot of foster kids. I think she will treasure this.

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  2. OK ... I'm sitting here with big tears in my eyes ... for the little parent-challenged girl for whom you made the beautiful and priceless "you are not forgotten" book, for you, and for myself.

    Just this week I was analyzing some of my own behavior (which tends toward the histrionic ... I see you over there feigning surprise) ... and it occurred to me that the reason I act as I do is because, as a child, I craved attention I rarely got.

    And I still do. Crave attention that, is ... although I have a perfectly lovely family who, down to a person, treat me much better than I deserve and never fail to lavish attention and love upon me.

    But as you well know, old habits and old sensibilities die hard.

    I love your story about moving and wishing not to be forgotten each time. It resonates, as it were. The first time I attended a single school from first day to last day was my junior year in high school. All other years? Two, sometimes three schools.

    And for senior year? I went to a different school altogether.

    All the cliques had already formed long before I arrived ... but as it happened, that was OK because I didn't want to be part of some snobby clique anyway, that excluded others and probably hurt their hearts in doing so.

    Only this morning I was telling my daughter Erica, who turned 25 yesterday, that life is about encouraging others. She had wondered aloud why anyone who was a perfect stranger to her would want her to walk up and talk to them, say at church or something. I said, well, they would want you to because when you walk up to them, you make it not about you but about them.

    You smile, ask (non-probing) questions, listen carefully to the answers, add something of yourself to the mix, smile, hug a shoulder or squeeze a hand where appropriate, and generally let the person know that they matter.

    And that they are not forgotten.

    God bless all the little (and big) children, many of whom are hurting. And God bless you for being willing -- nay, eager -- to spend your time, money, and energy to make a difference in the life of a child not as fortunate as most.

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  3. I'm a puddle of sentimentality right now.

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  4. How wonderful! What a sweet and thoughtful thing to do. I bet this will make her smile all day. :)

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  5. That was such a thoughtful thing for you to do. I bet the little girl loves that memory book. I really hope the girl's Mom appreciates that other family that helped raise her daughter while she was unable to do so herself.

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  6. Oh my gosh, that is SO sweet! You have just made the rest of her life!!

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  7. You have such a kind heart - mine breaks for the "little girl" whose heart was broken. Thanks God for your DH and his understanding.

    Leann

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  8. you have made my day..my week..my year. You are a good good person :-)

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  9. I LOVE this!!!! I hope and pray that her natural family is able to love her as she needs... you have such a lovely heart!

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  10. 'You are not forgotten' I love this phrase and i'm sure the kids will loved it..

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  11. 'You are Not forgotten' I love this phrase and I'm sure kids loved it too..

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  12. I have tried & tried to leave a comment to let ya know how sweet I think you are...lets see if this works this time :-D

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  13. This is a beautiful story. I feel like this about the elderly, too. It makes my heart hurt.

    You are really an amazing person. Sending you a giant hug.

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