Foster Care a Childs Perspective

I can more than imagine the pain of losing children to foster care. As it happened to my Dad, my sister and I were the children.

Our mother’s death began the spiral downward into the world of foster care . My Dad who valliantly tried, was unable to care for my sister and I , and continue to labor in his trade. He sought comfort in alcohol and not long after, we were taken from him , or he sought the help he needed so desperately.

Because of the tragic loss of our mother, the foster care system promised my dad that they would never separate my sister and I. So off we went to strangers homes, where they fed us and gave us a bed. Some were indifferent to our presence and others had little to say. We sometimes spent time in other rooms separated from families. Our only comfort was bedtime, when my sister and I could talk and play. In retrospect it was clear that the impetus for families to care for us was related to the financial stipend. For some foster families, it was their seemingly generous thoughts. For most it was just a disguise. Perhaps a seemingly easy way to bring in more income .

In one foster home, they would would draw the shades and lock the door , so that a visiting aunt could not see us. At another home they liked taking us to a local bar for pizza, it is an atmosphere I dislike even to this day. I was “so cute” they would say as strange men held me on their laps. In another home with many other children, they would lock my sister in the dark basement for some innocent child’s prank . I remember yelling to “let my sister out” as she cried.
So I think I have painted one of the real pictures of foster care for you, and this is only my view as a child. We did have a most positive two years with a very nice family, that made up for the other homes. We kept on growing in spite of it all and we survived the system. Our Dad recovered and in later years we were back with him.

What you should know is there were case workers, many who would come to see us, because we could walk and talk we were well enough. Our happiness was not their responsibility. They were then and are now over worked in system that has more demands, and unrealistic expectations.

In our teen years our Dad told us the stories of how he hid behind trees to see us walking to school each day. He was not to see us or talk to us. To this day I can feel the hot tears that spilled down his face. On the occasionally visits, he brought us toys. I especially remember a very large teddy bear. He would kiss us goodbye and as we cried, he would hug us and then leave again. I remember my last words to my sister that night were . ‘Don’t wash your face where Daddy kissed you” Now as a parent, you know that his pain had to be even greater than ours.