gallery Dear Adoption, (and Foster Care) I’m Sorry


Dear Adoption, (and Foster Care) I’m Sorry

Mommy – I’m sorry I was unlovable and unworthy. I’m sorry you didn’t want me. I’m sorry I wanted you.

Nurses – I’m sorry I cried too much or at the wrong times and that I soiled my diapers.

Foster Home 1 – I’m sorry for being needy. I’m sorry I stayed longer than you thought that I was going to stay. I’m sorry you wanted a boy. I’m sorry I had to leave.

Foster Home 2 – I’m sorry that I had so much energy. I’m sorry that I gave your dog anxiety and that I didn’t see the signs as a 3 year old. I’m sorry I changed his temperament and I’m sorry he bit me. I’m sorry I had to leave.

Case Worker 1 – I’m sorry I had to sleep in your office. I’m sorry I made it look like you were bad at your job. I’m sorry my presence fried your nerves and made your face twist into that irritated expression. I’m sorry you had to work so hard for me.

Foster Home 3 – I’m sorry I’m scared of the dark and that you had to leave the hall light on. I’m sorry your electric bill would go up. I’m sorry that I screamed so loud when you hit me. I’m sorry I bled on your floor. I’m sorry I didn’t clean it up perfect. I’m sorry for being bad. I’m sorry someone found out I was being bad and that I was being hurt. I’m sorry I had to leave.

Foster Home 4 – I’m sorry I interrupted dinner. I’m sorry I brought a garbage bag of dirty clothes. I’m sorry I had lice and burns that you had to apply cream to 3 times a day. I’m sorry you had to tell my first grade teacher “she’s not ours” on my first day of school. I’m sorry I embarrassed you. I’m sorry I felt the safest with you. I’m sorry I had to leave.

First Grade Teacher 1 – I’m sorry I was behind and you had to spend so much of your time catching me up. I’m sorry I’m not like the other kids.

Foster Home 5 / Adoptive Home – I’m sorry I was so pretty and irresistible. I’m sorry I was bad. I’m sorry I took too much attention.

4th Grade Teacher – I’m sorry I fell asleep in class. I’m sorry I can’t tell you why I do not get to sleep.

Foster Home 5 / Adoptive Home – I’m sorry I get special attention. I’m sorry I don’t always hide my bruises.

8th Grade Teacher – I’m sorry I didn’t tell you when you asked. I’m sorry I hated you for asking. I’m sorry you did not ask me one more time.

Foster Home 5 / Adoptive Home – I’m sorry for being tall and beautiful. I’m sorry I’m damaged. I’m sorry I am getting too old. I’m sorry I’m pregnant. I’m sorry I couldn’t pay for the abortion myself. I’m sorry I’m ruined now. I’m sorry I ran away. I’m sorry I never saw you again. I’m sorry I miss you. I’m sorry I still remember.

Dear Adoption, (and Foster Care) I’m sorry I do not know whose fault this all is. I’m sorry if it’s mine.

I’m sorry I’m the asterisk, the other and just a case number. I’m sorry I don’t wholly know what family means are feels like. I’m sorry.

* (Nobody, Other, Case Number Whatever)

This piece was submitted anonymously by a former foster child and adoptee who has dedicated her life to amending the foster care system so all children have safe homes. After running away from her 5th foster home and the family who adopted her, she was in and out of shelters for the remainder of her teenage years. Finally at age 20 she sought to educate herself, got her degree and has become a powerful force in foster care reform.


  1. What have you got to be sorry for? You are not responsible for how you were treated by draconian systems, and forced or coerced adoptions, or for the in appropriate court appointed ‘parents’ chosen fro you, or educators who are clueless about adoptees, nor for the regulations and laws which deny you your rights-the same rights un-adoptees have. You owe none of these anything, but they certainly owed you far better than what you evidently received from them.
    You have been shafted by the adopters mantra-the one in which you are the petitioner begging for their salvation, and the ingrate for wanting ,your own identity and your own life, not theirs.
    You have evidently obtained a degree and have found your path, which is good. I only hope that you kept your child… for both his/her sake as well as your own. If we who have been fostered, adopted or other (or both) learn nothing from our own pasts, we not only repeat the cycles but pass it on to the next generation.
    Be grateful of your height and your beauty and your innate intelligence. All come via your DNA thru your parents and your ancestors-they are what will guide your life. If you have not contemplated having your DNA analyzed, think about it as an option to find your real identity-you may have siblings and cousins. Start a family tree with only you if that is all you know, And never ever accept injustice as your lot or your portion in this life. No one deserves abuse from anyone for any reason.
    And get rid of those voices in your head that suggest you are unworthy. They are false and dangerous and come from the ‘system’. Vincero!
    Vaya con dios. We cannot change our pasts, but r present and future are for us to choose. Choose well. Good luck!
    PS-You may never know how it is you were relinquished. And it is 99.9999 % certain that others do not know either…Your mother may have been coerced or was frightened r many number of other things. She might weep to read your words, as you no doubt wept as you wrote them. She may even be searching for you …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I share your pain and know what it’s like to feel unwanted and unloved. I’m grateful you survived and are working to help the ones coming behind so that they don’t have to feel sorry for what’s happened in their lives.


  3. This is heartbreaking and it is a shameful society when adults who are supposed to love and care for children would instead abuse, dismiss, and degrade them. You deserved love and safety and protection. All of the adults and systems along the way should be begging you for forgiveness, (bearing in mind that it is very likely that your birthmother did love you very much and did want you, but was unable to for a variety of circumstances; of all the parties, she alone probably deserves grace). You are amazing to turn this all around into something good by helping other children.


  4. This is why I want to be a foster mum… I am probably never going to have my own biological children but i still have love to give any child that I meet… these are stories that if I can avoid one child going through this then I would.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was heartbreaking. No child should ever have to feel like that. If a person decides to foster they should love the kid as if its their own.


  6. We had a very difficult bedtime tonight. My foster 1 yo would not stay in bed, my foster 3 yo and my bio 3 yo wouldn’t be quiet so that I had any chance of getting him to sleep. My bio 6 yo who helped me tremendously at nap time got mad at me because I called him out for yelling and playing when he was supposed to be getting ready for bed and refused to sleep in the bedroom he shares with the 1 yo. My patience was done and I yelled and was harsher than I should have been. After reading this, I want to go hug them all and tell them I’m sorry. At least I read to my foster 3 yo after everybody else was asleep, so he knows I’m not mad anymore. But I know they’ve both been through a lot, and I’m sure my irritation was scary and confusing, especially for the littlest one.


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