I know I should expect zero gratitude from birth parents. It makes complete sense. I shouldn't hope for reunification because it will make me feel good that I did a good job as a foster parent/mentor. I should hope for reunification because it keeps families together.
I haven't even had it rough. The worst I've had in our cases is some persistent advice that I can't take, being ignored, or being talked about behind my back. I wouldn't blame a birth parent that yelled at me, but it hasn't happened yet.
And yet, when I read a text that says, "Thanks for everything," it stops me in my tracks. My heart skips a beat. My love language is words, words, words.
I know I can't do this completely right. But it gives me hope that some of the love I'm trying to show is peeking through.