The foster parents are aged 50.
The parents of three girls aged 12-15.
They got a five-year-old girl who waited for months in a crisis center until they managed to find her a family:
Four adults in a dank room with a teeny-tiny, frightened, excited little girl. Ready and not ready.
Both fragile and strong, the most intelligent eyes in the world, the eyes of a little girl and of an elderly woman. That's how we first met you.
How do you explain to a little girl that in four days her whole world will change again?
That she'll have to leave behind everything she knows and step into the unknown, far, far away "to a place you can reach by plane," with a bagful of promises that everything will be okay, promises that aren't worth much, because such a tender soul with so much life experience already knows what it feels like when everything is not okay.
I watched you in the first days of reception and I admired you, the strength you must have not to fall apart, strength I didn't have as an adult. I broke inside. Through your strength you helped me calm down and realize that no matter what happens, everything will be alright.
We started the journey with a long drive. I anticipated all the difficulties possible and was proven wrong. You showed me all the beauty and goodness along the way, you looked out the car window and chose to see sky, sea, animals, later on desert and mountains, and you examined everything quietly, admiringly, without hinting at the storm that I'm sure was inside you.
You've captured my heart with your goodness, without any cutesiness, with the simplicity of a girl who is bravely discovering her new life.
A mom and dad and new sisters, your own room and things that are yours and only yours and which only you have the right to decide about. Everything that may be understandable to another child isn't self-evident to you. And you're happy and excited and a second later you're angry and kicking. You test boundaries to see what will happen if you cross them. "Throw me to the garbage!", "Come on, hit me!" and other attempts to drive us crazy. To push us to the end of our rope, and how difficult and painful it is to take a deep breath and explain to you for the thousandth time that here no one will throw you out or hit you, and that getting angry is okay, here you'll be protected forever.
I learned to admire you even when the mask came off and you learned that it's okay to fall apart and then rebuild something cleaner and more genuine.
You waited so long to go to the new kindergarten; you said goodbye without a problem and went off even though you didn't know anybody. Today you say goodbye with a strong hug that says, Mom, come back early today, I miss you.
Days of laughter, which slowly starts to come from the heart and the whole chest. Everything forced becomes real and effortless. When someone reaches out a hand, you're no longer afraid of it, but leap toward it with a hug. The nightmares are replaced with silent nights and with mornings when you can't be stirred from sweet sleep, and I stand next to you and see you sleeping deeply and peacefully and don't want to wake you. The fear is replaced with calm, the screams with rolling laughter, and the heart swells. Such big changes in so little time.
We didn't plan to fall in love with you so quickly, but you left us no choice, you slipped into our heart and into those of your new sisters and found exactly the right place, like the piece of a puzzle that makes the heart complete.
For the new year we wish that you, our child, always be protected, surrounded by people who look after you and your wellbeing, of whom there are many. May you know that the entire big family you've joined is behind you, making sure nothing bad happens to you along the way. May you know that behind us, too, stands an army of good people who brought you to us and accompany and guide and watch over you every step of the way. May you know how to trust with a calm heart, may tranquility be yours, may everything that's right and good for you come true. Thank you for letting us walk beside you, ahead of you and behind you, and we pray that we'll always be able to do it, at any age and in any life circumstance. May you grow up to be strong, healthy and confident in the knowledge that you can do anything and be whatever you choose. There are children who are born from the womb and those who are born from the heart. It seems like you've always been a part of our life, and we hope to always be a meaningful part of yours.