Joshua Smith is 21 and that’s kind of a big deal. It marks the 10th anniversary of his escape from an extremely abusive father. He is now a very successful and confident young man, and he owes it all to the couple who shared extreme kindness with him when they took him in as foster parents. That couple is Jane and Bill Aiton of Walsall, West Midlands.
So Joshua wrote them a thank you letter, recalling how much they helped him. A portion of his letter reads: “You must have been warned that years of physical and emotional abuse by my father had left me deeply traumatised. But I doubt the words exist to fully describe my despair as I stood in front of you both that late summer afternoon. I was still reeling from Dad’s final act of brutality the previous evening, when he tipped my dead mother’s ashes over me as punishment for not drinking my tea.”
Joshua ran away and found himself being videotaped by police during about three hours of questioning. It was grueling, especially after what he had been through.
A short time later, a social worker brought him to Jane and Bill’s home. He thought they were weird at first, but after a while, he never had to worry about going to bed and being yanked out of it to be abused. Those horrible thoughts from his previous home life started to fade. They never hit him. He wasn’t used to that.
He used to think Jane and Bill were talking to someone else when they said something kind. But, after a while, he realized those kind words were directed at Him. It started feeling good to be appreciated.
Reads Joshua’s letter: “As a little boy, it was comforting to promise myself that my own children would grow up feeling loved and safe. Back then, all I knew about achieving that was to not be anything like my dad. But now, thanks to you, I have a positive example to follow — one that means I stand a real chance of being the kind of parent any child could be proud of.
Of everything you did for me, I think that will be your greatest legacy from those precious years I spent as your foster son.”
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