Boy's Letter to Adoptive Parents Who Rescued Him from Abusive Dad: 'Don't Get Comfy—This Won't Last'

Dec 22, 2021
11:00 A.M.
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A young boy spent years under the thumb of his abusive father. He was broken and alone until a foster family took him in as their own. A decade later, he wrote them an emotional letter to say thank you. 


In 2017, 21-year-old Joshua Smith had been free from his abusive dad for a decade. He credits his foster parents Jane, and Bill Aiton, for the good man he is today. The Walsall, England couple took him in when he needed it most. 

He wrote them a special letter to express his gratitude. Smith thanked the family for helping him work through the trauma inflicted by his father and the death of his biological mother when he was only 11 years old.

A young boy who was abused by his father [left] Foster parents who took in a boy in need of love and support [right] | Photo:



Smith wrote: "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 eating my tea." Thankfully, he was able to run to the police for help.

They showed him nothing but love and acceptance when he arrived at the Aiton home on short notice. Smith said he wasn't sure whether or not they had planned all of the caring gestures toward him, including calling him "son" and showing constant support.



He answered his own questions. Smith said: "Ten years on, knowing you as well as I do, I doubt your kindness was planned. You [knew] how to put me back together." Despite their love, voices in Smith's head were still fighting him.

He recalled thinking: "Don't get comfy — this won't last." However, it did last, and so did the support and care from his foster family. 



Smith went from fearing for his life to being praised by the Aiton's. He had years of abuse and painful memories to work through, but the family was there each step of the way. 

The young man was thankful that the family never pressed him for information about his past. He stated:

"I’m so grateful that neither of you ever pushed me for the full details of what happened that night, or any other with my dad."



Smith was also welcomed by his new foster brothers, Jamie and Drew. The first weekend he spent with them turned into another five happy years under the family's roof.

He was spoiled with holidays, football games, and lots of love. Smith, who got good grades in school and later worked in retail, hoped to be a father one day. He thanked them for giving him a good example to follow.  



The Aiton family responded to his letter with touching words of their own. They revealed that his letter moved them to tears and meant a lot to them.

Smith taught the Aiton family about "human kindness." They said:

"We’re so proud of the life you’re making for yourself, Josh. While we know how thankful you are for the role we played ... we also have much to be grateful to you for."



In 2016 an anonymous author also wrote a letter to her adoptive mother. In it, she wrote: "Three days before you died, I finally found the words to say, 'I'm so glad you were my mother.'" Her mom responded, and the pair shared a special moment.

She also apologized for never appreciating everything her adoptive mom had done in her public letter. While her mother was not alive to read the letter, it meant a lot to the person who sent it. 

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