Ana* is 9 years old and will soon be adopted by her foster parents. During one of our recent home visits, Ana told me how much she was enjoying her new school, teachers and friends. Her school recently hosted a book fair, and Ana was able to buy a few books, toys and posters with money she had saved up.
She showed me everything she had purchased, and as we got to the last item in the stack, she said, “I saved my favorite for last.” Ana pulled out a diary with a lock and a pen. She proceeded to tell me all about this pen, how it writes with invisible ink and when you flip it over and push the button, a blue light reveals what you’ve written.
She pointed the blue light on her arm to show me the invisible “tattoos” she and her friends had drawn on each other at school. Her favorite was a flower her best friend had drawn by her elbow. She asked me if I would like to give her one, so I took the pen and wrote “You are very special” on her lower forearm and “Jesus loves you” on her upper arm. She smiled when she shined the light on herself to read them.
Then Ana asked me if she could give me one, so I rolled up my sleeve and told her to have fun, thinking she would draw a star or butterfly. Much to my surprise, Ana started to write a message on my arm. I was anxious to see what she was writing. When she finished, she gave me the pen and said “I hope you can read it!” I illuminated the light at the end of the pen and began to read my arm. She had written, “I will always remember you.” A smile came to my face and tears to my eyes. I have only known this young girl for three to four months and have only seen her three to four times, yet she wrote something so meaningful and heartfelt.
Ana told me she likes when I visit her and her mom. We had talked about her upcoming adoption a few minutes before, so I told her after she was adopted, I wouldn’t come to see her every month like I do now. Ana just looked at me with a sad expression on her face, making my heart swell a little more.
*name changed to protect privacy
Written by Jorie Morrison, a Buckner foster care case manager in Amarillo, Texas.