Honestly, there are some shady foster parents out there (I, as a foster parent, will be the first person to admit this). I hear a lot of them say "You'll never get a 'thank you'". Um, no- of course you won't. As a parent you should never expect a 'thank you'. Do you EVER expect your birth child to stand up and say "Wow, mom/dad thanks for taking care of me."? No- because you take care of them anyways. They expect you to take care of them. And you love them so much that you wouldn't care if you never received a thank-you even once in your life for what you've done for them. Why in the world should a foster child be any different? And I can PROMISE you- you will receive more 'thank yous' than you can count from ANY foster child in your home. In fact, just to make a point- here's a list of 25 ways your foster child says 'thank you'.
When they ask you for help or advice: They're showing you they trust you, and need you, and want you in their life. They're saying 'thank you for being open to help me'.
When they apologize for a mistake: They're showing you that they respect your opinion, and they're sorry that they degraded your opinion of them. They're saying 'thank you for looking beyond my bad- I'll try to be better."
When they get an A+ in school: They're proving that they are out to better themselves and to do the best they can. They're saying "thank you for all the times you helped me finish homework and study."
When they shine through with their talents: They're showing how much confidence they have and how truly wonderful they are. They're saying 'thank you for being proud of me, thank you for letting me do something I love, and thank you for cheering me on while I do it."
When they eat their dinner: They're showing you they appreciate the work you put into cooking food for them, and a lot of them are saying, "thank you for keeping me well-fed, because not everyone in my life has."
When they accept a gift: They're accepting a bit of your love by accepting something you gave them with love. They're saying "thank you for loving me, and being generous even if you didn't have to be."
When they're cordial to your friends and relatives: They're proving that they care about your reputation as much as you do. They're saying "thank you for introducing me to all of these people who mean so much to you- and letting them care about me as well."
When they try to better themselves: They're taking your advice and using it to inspire themselves. They're saying 'thank you for always encouraging me to be the best person I can be."
When they ask you for something: They're reaching out- which is a difficult thing for anyone to do, let alone a child who may have been hurt in the past. They're saying "thank you for being someone I can trust."
When they laugh at one of your jokes: They're either humoring you or enjoying your humor. Either way they're saying, "thank you for making me smile."
When they have a good day: They're showing you that you are making an impact. You are helping them live a happy life. They're saying "thank you for all you do to ensure that I'm experiencing a fulfilling childhood."
When they smile: They're physically expressing their happiness- proving to you that they are in a good place in their life. They're saying "thank you for forcing this brilliant smirk out of me."
When they make new friends: They're gaining confidence, and showing that they can interact with peers in a positive way. They're saying "thank you for being a good role model to me in how I should behave and interact with people."
When they get excited about something: They're showing you their passion and their drive. They're saying "thank you for introducing me to new things and letting me follow my dreams."
When they offer to help: They're trying to be a constructive part of your family (and society for that matter). They're saying "Thank you for all you've done for me- let me help you this time."
When they take care of themselves: They're showing you that they are growing up to be a responsible independent adult. They're saying "Thank you for giving me the tools to go into adulthood with confidence."
When they say "Thank you": A simple small insignificant 'thank you' for dinner or a birthday gift or a signature on their basketball try-out form, can mean a BIG thank you if you want it to. So many people brush off the small 'thank yous' and consider them insincere. But there is NOTHING insincere about a child thanking you for the small things you do. Don't overlook everything. Don't assume your child isn't happy to have meant you. Their life is tough- very tough, but you are making it a bit easier. I would NEVER in a MILLION years expect any of my kids to say 'thank you' to me. I do what I do because I love them with every piece of my heart. I am the one who should be saying thank you to them! They are my comedians- making me laugh on days when I feel like crying. They are my entertainers, constantly keeping me in awe of their talents. They are my pride and joy- giving me an eternal reason to brag to others. They are the light in my life. A 'thank you' from them comes through in a million ways- but I never want a 'thank you'. I'd rather have a 'your welcome'- because they give me so much more than I could ever give them.