Letter from Anastasia: No longer afraid due to her "guardian angels"

FOR one and a half years, Mr Muhd. Tawin and Mdm Wardah Hat have been more than foster parents to Anastasia (not her real name). Like patient gardeners, they have nurtured and watched her grow. In a heartfelt letter chronicling her journey, Anastasia expressed her gratitude to her foster parents, both 46 years old.

 

Learning patience, generosity, and discipline

Anastasia is particularly close to her foster father whom she describes as “a simple man who enjoys simple pleasures in life”. In her eyes, Mr Muhd. Tawin is patient and giving, one who treats her and the rest of his children as friends but yet disciplines them when necessary; he also chills out with the children, singing along with them as they play the guitar.

As I write this letter, I feel a sense of yearning and sadness. It’s as if I’m leaving behind a part of my life;
familiarity I have with everyone and everything. They have also grown familiar with me and my never-ending
habit of lateness. I’m saying a farewell that doesn’t have to be said.
Because I know - always and assuredly - that my presence will always be welcomed in the family.
 
Family.
It’s not really by blood that you are part of a family. It’s the things that you do together.
The laughter and mischief shared, sacrifices made and also the problems that we brace through together.
These small little things are the most important parts that make a real family.
 
I can imagine the day I turn 18 (although it is a long time away):
as I turn to give my final wave to my foster family – a family I have found –
I see my mother at the lift like always, guiding her children up…….
It’s not a goodbye. It’s a new beginning.
 
I used to look down in shame and cower in fright.
But I now look up with a smile on my face. I‘ve braved through this chapter of my life.
I know it’s not the end. I know I don’t always see a rainbow.
But I know there’s a rainbow after every rain. Therefore I’m ready to face all the challenges.
I’m no longer scared. I’m not afraid….. with pride and confidence, I’m prepared.
 
A wise man [Ed: referring to Mr Muhd. Tawin] once said, “No self pity. Let others respect you and not pity you.”
 
God took away some precious things in my life.
In return, He gave me something far more precious than diamonds.
He gave me angels, guardian angels – my foster parents.
 
A sentence commonly used on me: “Once a liar, always a liar”.
A sentence seldom used: “Things will happen if you believe in it”.
 
My foster parents believe that things will improve for the better.
Like how an ugly duckling grows to become a graceful swan.
 
People once said I was a fallen angel. But I have followed the path of righteousness.
My foster parents have hoped in me when all hope was lost. I was told that they were the last resort.
Venomous snakes tried to discourage them.
But a small, yet firm and strong, voice spoke out of the darkness and said: “Hope is near”.
They believed I could thrive in tender loving care. Those hands took care of me, blossomed me into a rose.
 
You treat me like a rose
You give me room to grow
You shone the light of love on me
And gave me air so I can breathe
You opened doors I closed
In a world where anything goes
You give me strength so I stand tall
Within this bed of earth
Just like a rose
 
- Lyrics of the song "Like a Rose" by pop group A1)

  

Rose gardeners and guardian angels

When he found out what his foster daughter said and wrote about him, Mr Muhd. Tawin, a crane operator said,
”You’ve made me a happy man. I actually do not know if what I’ve been doing is right. It was difficult initially as she is a teenager and she also came with baggage from her past. We had to adjust here and there. Now I understand her more. I told her on the first day she came: if you won’t give up on yourself, I will not give up on you. It was difficult as I did feel like giving up many times. But from what I see, Anastasia has blossomed into a stable young lady.”

Choosing to focus on the budding rose rather than the thorns has kept Mr Muhd. Tawin and Mdm Wardah Hat undeterred. It looks like a room will always be ready for Anastasia even after she leaves the foster home next year when she turns 18 years old; a room in the hearts of the two rose gardeners and guardian angels who have become family to her.

 

Reflection pointers for fathers

  • Your sacrifices as a father may not reap tangible returns, but it is an investment of love in your child. It is reflected in the person that your child has grown up to be.
  • A child is truly beyond any hope of changing for the better when everyone loses hope in the child.

 

Action pointers for fathers

  • Take your child to the place where you grew up. Show them where you played as a child and the games you played. Tell them your stories of your growing up years.
  • As the year draws to a close, start a tradition of an AFM (Annual Family Meeting). Use this time to forecast and talk about things in the coming year eg. planning for holiday, new changes in the coming year, family resolutions, etc.
     
Want to know more about fostering or how you can contribute to the cause?

Then call 6354 8799 or visit MCYS.


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Foster dad, Raymond Loh: 4 kids and counting...

Fathers with big hearts!

Family rules - Part I and Part II

A challenge to motivate?

"That's NOT what I meant!"

"So few marks?" or "You made some progress..."

Grow your relationship with your child by volunteering

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Parent-child styles for learning and connecting

Connect using positive presuppositions