ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • HubPages Tutorials and Community

Life as a Foster Child

Updated on October 26, 2012

A throw away kid...

This is my story as a foster child. I hope it helps someone understand us, especially the foster parent. I hope it makes the case workers really listen to us. I hope it changes the system, but I'm afraid it won't.

Me, before it all began...

Me, before it all began...
Me, before it all began...

Don't let me mislead you, I am not a child now, but I remember everything. I remember thoughts and feelings, I remember the looks and attitudes of those around me. I was a watcher, a silent, withdrawn watcher. In a way, I still am.

I was taken from a stay in the hospital to the social worker's office. There I met my younger siblings, ( I was the oldest). I didn't know what was happening, but I don't think I cared at the time. I was already broken at this point. I had already shut down emotionally, a child in a box, detatched, going through the motions. I was 7 years old, and very small for my age.

I had no memory of the particular incident that put me in the hospital. It had just happened, and my mind protected me from the memory, it still does to this day.

Yes, we should have been taken.

Don't get me wrong, child services were right in getting us out of that home. It was horrible there. After my mother divorced my dad she married a psycho. No, really, he was clinically psycho. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and even his parents warned my mother to stay away from him. She didn't listen. She moved in with her very young 5 children. I remember so many horrible moments with that monster. So when I finally ended up in the hospital, it was good that we were immediately taken out of the home, but then came foster care.

This is to all of the foster parents, we don't like you. You have to earn that right. You have to earn our trust, what little we have left, and it won't be easy. Oh, and something else. Don't expect us to be grateful for what you are doing for us. What do we have to be grateful for, anyway? We were ripped from everything and everyone we know. We were thrown to you, and you want us to be grateful? We didn't choose you, and we know you will probably never love us. You are strangers, you are dangerous, you are another set of adults we have to listen to, another set of adults who can hurt us. You have power over us, and we are helpless. Our life lays in pieces around us. We are shattered, damaged, broken. How can you expect us to be grateful?

The five of us

The five of us
The five of us

Of all the foster homes I've been in, one stands out as a shining example above all the others. They were an older couple in Eclectic, Alabama. I only remember their last names, the Hayes, and their son was the local pastor of the church we lived near. This was the first foster home, and I wish we could have stayed, but tragedy struck the family, and then we were gone. I think Mr. Hayes died, which is why we had to go.

Let's not focus on that though, but on how great this couple was. First of all, they NEVER hit us. They just talked to us, and tried to teach us. What matters most is they never hit us, or yelled at us.

We had routine. Everything was structured, and we knew what to expect every day. Don't you see how important that is to us? No surprises, no chaos, no changes. At least while we were with them. I remember regularly eating pancakes for supper and watching Kung Fu on TV. It didn't matter that I didn't understand the TV show that well, it was the tradition of it that was comforting.

The one thing I loved there was sitting on the porch swing and singing. I rarely talked, rarely smiled, but I would sing. It was freedom! It was expression! My siblings would join in, and you clapped for us! You smiled at us. You made us feel special, and you didn't take our song from us.

They NEVER hit us, did I say that already? Yes, it's that important. We know pain, you can't hurt us anymore than we had been hurt already. Does it make you feel better when you make us cry? That is what we've been taught. The Hayes never hurt us or yelled at us. I think they really understood. They were wise and patient. They were good. I truly honor their memory. They were the only ones...

The Worst

We don't like you, and we don't have to. We really don't like you, and we know you don't like us, you just like the dollar sign that comes with us.

I won't give their name, because I don't want to hurt their relatives, but they lived in Red Hill, Alabama. They ALWAYS hit us. Many times. My brother got the worst of it. He was willful. He was only 6 years old. He was a boy without love. Don't you understand that? Why did you make him work so hard? HE WAS ONLY 6 YEARS OLD! He had to feed all the animals before school. A lot of animals for a 6 year old, even horses. He would get the switch if he missed the bus. He would get the switch if he couldn't feed all the animals. He would get the switch for so many things. You taught him anger. You taught him hate. You broke him, and he stayed that way.

I WAS ONLY 8 YEARS OLD! I remember all the work. Washing handprints off the walls. Polishing your silver. Cleaning your oven. Stepping on tiptoes to hang out your laundry. Staying up after you've gone to bed so I could iron your clothes. Washing your dishes. Vacuuming your whole house, upstairs and down. I didn't want to get hit. I still did, and I can't remember why. You made a game of it, jump the switch. We would be lined up, the youngest is 3 years old. Jump the switch while it tore at our ankles and bit into our legs. You enjoyed it.

Why else would you do it? You were paid to hurt us. We stayed with you the longest, and we paid for it.

As if that weren't enough, you made us sing. Wasn't that so cute, 5 little kids singing for your guests. You took the one thing that belonged to us, our voices, and made us entertain your friends. We don't like you or your friends. You sold our voices to your friends.

All the work, all the pain, all the misery, and we never said anything. We learned it didn't matter. We learned there were consequences when you talk.

I remember it being an unusual day to start with. We were going to the store! This didn't happen often, going out. It was a thrilling event, and we were somewhat excited, or at least as excited as troubled children can get.

We arrived and were on our best behavior. Our eyes scanned the aisles, looking for things children look for. Candy, toys, soda, GRANDMA! It was grandma! Our grandma! She was here! We ran to her screaming her name, which was, of course, grandma, and she bent down and scooped us into her arms. We felt love like nothing we've felt before. Our wonderful grandma tried to sneak us out of the store, which was impossible since we made such a ruckus! Instead of being rescued, a man in uniform was called and our grandma was forced to let us go. What started out as a wonderful day became a day of sadness and loss.

Gone

The social worker came today. This means we are leaving, but she didn't take us all. She only wanted two of us, the two little ones. They get in the car and then they are gone. This is something new. Something different. Where are they going? Are they going home? Are they going to Grandma? Why didn't they want the rest of us? Please don't leave us here with these people, please.

The Teacher

Another school. Another teacher. A bunch of kids looking at me. The kids. They are different than me. They are happy when school is over. Not me. I don't want to leave, but I don't say anything. I do what I'm told.

My desk is next to the teacher's desk. I like being close to her. She is nice. I was sitting at my desk silently doing my work when a stick of gum was slid to me. I looked up, and it was the teacher! She smiled. I quietly opened the wrapper and popped the gum in my mouth. She didn't give anyone else a piece, only me. She snuck a stick of gum to me every day after that. Every day I thanked her with a smile.

Teacher, I wish you knew what you really gave me. To you, it may have been a simple piece of gum, a small token of kindness. To me, it was so much more. It was something all my own, something precious no other kid in that room had. That little stick of gum made me feel something I had never felt before... worthy. Some may say you were just giving a stick of gum to a troubled little girl, but I like to think you were listening to God's whisper.

The social worker came today. How many of us does she want? Will I be left here alone? I had to pack too, but I'm so scared. What if the next home is worse than this one? What if they leave me here? I'm a good girl. I have to be good so God can find me. I'll be good if you let me go to Grandma, I promise.

We all got into the car, my two other siblings and I. We went to another home, and the two little ones were there. I remember seeing them, but I was so locked within myself, that I didn't react to their presence. Just standing there, maybe I said "Hi", I don't know. I had to sever the connection to them, because they could leave again. I severed the connection to all my siblings. I existed with them, I didn't live with them. I just stopped living altogether.

It sounds cold, heartless, selfish, I know. I wish I had been stronger, but I was just a kid. I was the oldest, and they looked to me for strength, but I was so dead inside. Oddly enough, they still looked to me when something different happened, something good, something bad, anything. They all looked to me for...what? I don't know. Perhaps they saw my detachment as strength, but it wasn't. It was merely survival.

The Visit With Our Real Daddy

We were ushered into the social worker's car. This usually meant that we were going to stay with a different family, a different set of rules, a different lifestyle, everything different. We were taken to grandma's house! What? Can we stay? Is our nightmare over? Do you know what made this better? Daddy was there. Our daddy. Not someone else's daddy, not a fake daddy, not a foster daddy, OUR daddy! He should have gotten custody of us after the divorce. He could afford it, he had a good job, he worked for the Army Corp of Engineers, but we were given to our mother. Big Mistake. It didn't matter now, because it was daddy, and some woman.

We stayed a few hours, and the dreaded social worker came back. So gullible we are, so naïve, so young! We wouldn't get in the car, would you? But we were offered a soda. A soda? We were fooled into getting in the car for a soda? Yes. Oh, how young we were.

The visit with dad. I'm taking the picture. Notice my siblings clasping their hands?

The visit with dad. I'm taking the picture. Notice my siblings clasping their hands?
The visit with dad. I'm taking the picture. Notice my siblings clasping their hands?

Going Home For Real This Time

I remember standing outside with my siblings. That woman wanted to take our picture. That woman who is standing with my dad. We didn't know what was going on. We have become completely jaded by now. Never trust anyone again. Never. Adults lie. Adults hurt you. Adults are dangerous. Adults can make you do anything they want. Adults have complete power over you, and you are nothing. Never trust anyone. Ever.

We went home, to my dad's house in Titus, Alabama, and that woman lived there too. My dad's new wife. Our step-mom. This will sound cold to those who haven't been there, but for a long time, our house was like another foster home. Do you understand? Another house, another set of adults, another set of rules. We were not normal children. We were not happy-go-lucky kids. At least not the older 3 of us. The 2 youngest don't remember much about foster care, but does that mean they weren't affected?

Our first Easter with dad and new mom. I'm the girl on the left (in the back).

Our first Easter with dad and new mom. I'm the girl on the left (in the back).
Our first Easter with dad and new mom. I'm the girl on the left (in the back).

Rise Above or Fall

It wasn't easy for any of us. Not our father, who had to live with the knowledge of first, losing his children to the ex-wife, and then to foster care. A man denied custody because he was a man, and because he was single (wasn't that ridiculous). Not for our new mom, who had to be a mother to 5 troubled kids she had never met before.

But especially not for us, the kids. This affected us for the rest of our lives. We know that bad things can happen no matter how safe you feel, or how good you are.

But you have a choice...rise above and become one heck of a strong person, or fall. No matter what you feel, no matter what people say, no matter what reasons there are, you can rise above. Don't you see? If you fall, if you let this beat you for life, they win, you lose. You are out of there, away from foster care, away from what put you in foster care, but you are still trapped. You are your own prisoner. Refuse to stay locked up. You have the power now. Don't let your past hurt you or turn you into a shadow of a person.

What I've Learned

I've learned not to sweat the small stuff. I really don't even sweat the medium stuff! It takes a lot to get me angry. I am very patient. I can be really compassionate and empathetic, but only to a point. I expect you to help yourelf. I expect you to be strong too. Don't whine on and on about how bad your life is. Is it really that bad? Don't tell eveyone your sob story because, let me tell you, someone out there can top it, and they don't go around expecting sympathy from everyone.

I am also very logical. It took me some time to learn emotions, or rather, how to show emotion. I'm still learning. I still hide my true feelings a lot, though my Asperger's Syndrome may have something to do with that.

It doesn't take much to make me laugh. I can laugh at the simplest things. Allowing myself to laugh was something I had to learn. It was the easiest to learn, probably because I am so hopeful, even when it seems there's no reason to be! I can hardly understand why I'm so hopeful, but I know just how bad it can get, and I know I am a survivor.

All those other emotions are the ones I still have to work on!

There are many programs set up to help foster children and especially those who have aged out of foster care. Most of them have no real family to fall back on, many are thrust out into the world with nothing but a few belongings. Research shows that 1 in 5 foster children end up homeless, and some studies have found that nearly half of all foster children become homeless at some point after they leave foster care. This is a wonderful site with useful links and many great ideas to help these children and teens: Volunteer Guide. Please check it out!

Times are tough, I know, but they've always been tough for these kids. Help them when no one else has.

Child C: Surviving a Foster Mother's Reign of Terror
Child C: Surviving a Foster Mother's Reign of Terror

Struggle and triumph of a life captured in words.

 

BigHouse Foundation of Lee County, Alabama

A young foundation for foster children founded by Micah Melnick. We need more of these...

Please keep your comments clean. I want to give everyone a voice, but there have been some heartfelt comments I couldn't approve because they were too graphic. I must keep this site accessible, because children of all ages are in foster care and come to this site.

Your Thoughts

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Beautifully written. Inspiring. One of my favorite lenses. Thanks. 5*

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 8 years ago from Austin, Texas

      5*s and a hearty SquidAngel Blessing for this amazing lens. You give a voice to many people with similar experiences who might not be able to express themselves in such an impressive way. This is Squidoo at its best!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      What can I say -- I am speechless.

    • Teacher Adez7 profile image

      Teacher Adez7 8 years ago

      Debra, I sit here in tears after reading your story! All I can say is that I'm praying for you to have a happy life, and that you can find friends who will understand, and love you no matter what. Your lens is a great story of tragedy and hope, and you are right! You give me hope, and you help me to see how vain I really am sometimes.

      Thank you

      Blessings,

      Donna

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 8 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      Wow, just wow...an amazing lens, an important story. I hope those that can make a difference hear you...

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Debra, to bare your soul to us is an amazing thing. Your lens is beautiful in that haunting way. It's easy to read. Inspiring for us all. May those that can change it, hear what you've written.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Amazing story... I will lensroll this to my two lenses about child welfare services.

    • Christene-S profile image

      Christene-S 8 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Debra - I was fostered as a child but thankfully only for 2 weeks. I remember the smacking vividly. I am glad my brother was too young to remember. I have never told my parents - they still feel guilty about it to this day, although it was not their fault. My mother had to go into hospital for an operation. My father had to work. In those days there was no such thing as leave to look after your children and there was no one else who felt they could look after us.

      I am glad you made a positive choice not to use the past as an excuse for who you are now and that you have learned "not to sweat the small stuff".

      You do not say much about your life after you went to live with your Father and his wife. As you say it must have been difficult for all of you but I hope it turned out OK.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      I was lucky. I grew up with an extented family. Lenses like this remind me of how lucky I was.

      Beautiful lens.

      Lizzy

    • KimberlyDawnWel1 profile image

      KimberlyDawnWel1 8 years ago

      With all the hoops someone has to jump through to become a foster parent it's sad there are stories out there like this. Great lens!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 8 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Powerful writing! Very insightful. It pained me to read your account, but surely that pales in comparison to your own pain as you lived it.

      I admire your survivor/overcomer attitude. You do not play the victim here! This is an excellent message.

      You are hereby Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • VSP profile image

      VSP 8 years ago

      This breaks my heart. Thanks for sharing your story! I hope it will help others in some way.

    • MatCauthon profile image

      MatCauthon 8 years ago

      Touching... very touching. No words can describe the emotions you shared with me. I've learned a long time ago that plans are just that.... plans.5*

    • raswook profile image

      Jeff Wendland 8 years ago from Kalamazoo, MI

      Thank you for sharing your story, very touching. It is amazing the different motives some people have in their hearts. God bless people like the Hayes and God bless you and your siblings.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      A great lens. Thank you for telling your story.

    • EuroSquid LM profile image

      EuroSquid LM 8 years ago

      Wow, that was an amazing story, very engaging. It brought back some memories of my own childhood, though I was not a foster child. Was not the best time of my life. It was very well written, thank you.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This is so well written and very emotional. Thank you for sharing your story. I am glad that you are a survivor and are able to write your story in order to help change the system.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 8 years ago

      Your story touched my heart and brought back some painful memories. This is a beautiful lens. I wish you health, wealth, and happiness. 5*s and Lensroll.

    • The Homeopath profile image

      The Homeopath 8 years ago

      I think you already know how deeply I admire you. The subjects that you write about here just fascinate me, I've devoured them all. But, I can't really express much about your story here. I wouldn't know what to say except (a selfish statement, I realize) that reading this has made me a better mom to my own kids. No, I don't hit them, but I do sometimes forget that childhood should be much more special and magic and snug and warm and loving than it ever can possibly be.

    • profile image

      olatokunbo 8 years ago

      Great story,the morale of which you should never let anyone get you or keep you down,well done for rising above it and also for making it clear that they are not all that bad,i wish you all the best and god luck.

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 8 years ago

      I was not a foster child but I relate to your story and I think you are right we can stay in those memories or we can choice to move on I got tired of the pain that has been in my head for many years stuck.. it would not let me go so I let it go by seeing myself one day and I saw that I had not made my parents mistakes I made my own..I really like your lens and its true you are a survivor thanks for sharing your story

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 8 years ago

      What an amazing lens and beautifully told story. In the first place, you are very gifted at telling stories. I hope you tell more. You write well and put together a balanced story in a way that is smooth and easy to read. 5* for that, I wish I could give more! I wish I was an angel to bless this, but think I will take this to their forum!

      I have never worked with the state, but as a therapist I have worked with many foster kids. There are some bad parents, but really many good ones also. But, as you have said, the problem with many of the good ones is the expectations of instant family. They not only expect the kids to be grateful, but to see them as parents they will bond to and love like their own.

      I am putting this in my squidoo library lens, I believe under the amazing people section.

      Thanks

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 8 years ago

      Such a sad story, so beautifully written. Makes you wonder where we are as a Soceity.

      Keep your chin up, in my mind you have held yourself up courageously.

      So glad I read this.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 8 years ago from Canada

      A beautiful, compelling and heart-rending lens. You should write books geared to those suffering now - 5*

    • oneskms profile image

      oneskms 8 years ago

      So glad I read this, very moving and people should read and remember your part about wineing on about how bad their own life is - there are people worse off.

      I'm glad you've got through it to this point and sincerely wish you all the best

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your story. I can relate to a lot of it as a former foster child. My situation was a bit different from yours and thankfully I was never in many of the situations you were in. Your story inspired me. I still feel haunted by the past sometimes. Like you though I laugh a lot. I patiently listen while others tell their sob stories and never blurt out what I really think of their whining about trivial things. I smile and tell them life could be worse. I live by the motto that as long as there's tomorrow there's always hope.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I have had such a beautiful life .. I almost feel guilty. Thank you for writing so honestly about your feelings. As a teacher of the deaf, I have often seen the results of abuse. Not even parental abuse really, but by others who are not tolerant. So sad, I try to bring sunshine into their lives. 5 stars, favorite, fan, lensrolled and a load of sunshine!

    • profile image

      Patty_S 8 years ago

      Sadly, you are probably correct in saying your story won't change much in the foster care system.

    • profile image

      nancydodds1 8 years ago

      hai there, very interesting story. my 5 * for u.

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

      This is one of the most moving lenses that I have ever read. When I was a lawyer my specialism was litigating for victims of abuse in children's homes. I heard some very painful stories which I will always remember. Thank you for bringing your life story to others. Have you thought about writing a book of your experiences?

      You have been Blessed by a Squid Angel

    • Recession Proof2 profile image

      Recession Proof2 8 years ago

      This is a great, heartfelt lens. It sounds like you've overcome a lot. Keep focusing on the positive, and good things will keep happening.

    • profile image

      karmasherbs 8 years ago

      This lens is very inspiring. 5*s, Faves and I’ve added it to my lens Everyday Karma

      Under - What is a Bully? There are different types of Bullies - Don't be fooled!

      I agree – you should write a book…

      Your experiences will touch unwanted / unloved adult children from many walks for life.

      I too relish the simple things in life and like structure and order.

      You are so right when you say, If you fall, if you let this beat you for life, they win, you lose.

      Blessings - you are a true angel!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      I'm so sorry you and your siblings went through such horrible experiences. At least there were a few kind people along the way. I had a friend whose family always cared for foster children, and they were generous, loving people. It sickens me that monsters like the people you described can take advantage of the system. Squid Angel Blessed.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 8 years ago

      Wow, Wow Wow....it breaks my heart...thank you for sharing this story...we have choices to make on how we react to our circumstances in life and the effect it will have the rest of our life...God Bless You.. 5*

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      What can I say? You have the best lens I have ever browse. We have similar situation. Anyway, if you have time, please email me at johnlewislo2@aol.com or you can leave a message in my lens. I am so blessed to browse your lens. Keep it up.

    • profile image

      real_estate_hawaii 8 years ago

      You touched my heart! I hope there are foster parents reading your lens so that they will understand the feelings living with strangers. Glad that you overcome all what you have been through. Simply shows how strong you are. :)

    • LivingFood LM profile image

      LivingFood LM 8 years ago

      What a heart-breaking story...I can't imagine what you and your siblings went through, its horrible. I'm glad though that you broke free and are able to write about it. God Bless You!

    • PattB LM profile image

      PattB LM 8 years ago

      Wow, Debra Thank you for sharing your touching story. I worked in a group home once, where the kids were treated well, but as a houseparent I really had no idea what they were going through. Some friends of mine were foster parents, and treated the kids relatively well, but were so strange in their lifestyle I could see how hard on the kids it was. I could see how bad things were even without the abuse, and I am very happy that you were able to find the strength to pull through. 5 stars for you

    • bluewren56 lm profile image

      bluewren56 lm 8 years ago

      Well done - for overcoming such a difficult start to life... Kids won't mind camping, providing they are loved and accepted for who they are. One day at a time, and make the most of what we have now and where we are in life. I would love to have been a foster parent, but circumstances prevented it. God bless you.

    • papawu profile image

      papawu 8 years ago

      It sounds like you have seen a great deal hardships and abuse during your life. I can almost taste your anger and resentment. I felt that way about my parents for a very long time. I had a lot of rage that was eating away at my very soul. With time ang I have gained wisdom to let it go.

    • Janusz LM profile image

      Janusz LM 8 years ago

      Please someone, let this Lens be shown to anyone that is responsible for choosing, or vetting Foster parents.

    • Squidaddle profile image

      Squidaddle 8 years ago

      Thank you for writing this.

    • K Linda profile image

      K Linda 8 years ago

      Debra, your recount of your feelings in childhood are so clear and so poignant! I was a social worker at a foster care agency when I was in my 20's (I'm 63 now). There were a few great foster parents, quite a few just OK one's and too many terrible one's. It always amazed and angered me to see foster parents who expected gratitude and perfection from very troubled youngsters, and when they didn't behave as the foster parents wished, they were rejected. I always reported these things to my superiors, but nothing was ever done about it. I became so frustrated and stressed that I had to change careers. Anyway, I'm glad you wrote this. I think it will be a real eyeopener for many people. And, I hope you find complete healing in your life.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 8 years ago

      Debra, you are a survivor, and I'm so glad that you can now laugh and be hopeful. So many kids who go through that kind of abuse remain broken. I wish you much love and healing in your life.

    • profile image

      iLOV3U 8 years ago

      i READ UR STORY & i ALMOST CRi3D i WAS SO MOVED NOT TOO LONG AGO i M3T A GROUP OF KiDS AT CHURCH WHO WERE FOSTER KiDS.

    • AldricChang1 profile image

      AldricChang1 8 years ago

      My heart goes out to you. Thanks for such a wonderful and touching lens :) 5 stars!

      I've also set up a biography about myself here if you want to know more about me too.

    • profile image

      hesika 8 years ago

      I have no words... I wish you all the best in your life.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I read your story with much interest - firstly because I have been considering fostering for about 3 years now and I am still not sure but back on the compuer and finding things out and secondly because I was fostered for a time along with two of my siblings - I don't remember it but apparetnly i was treated badly, its funny you said that because you don't remember does that mean it doesn't affect you, I often wondered that!

      Thank you for sharing that painful story

      Yvonne :)

    • Amanda Blue profile image

      Amanda Blue 8 years ago

      Wrenching and wonderfully told. As important, and it is very important, that this account of yours be read and be known, I do hope the writing of it has been somewhat healing for you. If it has been please keep writing about these experiences for our sake and for yours .5*

    • profile image

      getbackup 8 years ago

      This is a beautiful story!! I'm raising a foster child (my ex-husband's nephew). It's NOT EASY to say the least. I get frustrated, but try to remember where he's come from. Thanks for showing "the other side". I'm sorry for what you went through. God Bless you!! I hope you have much happiness now in your life.

    • cineteq profile image

      John Parr 8 years ago from Montreal

      Debra this is a wonderful story telling. Regardless of your past, you're still a great person, perhaps a better person.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 8 years ago

      Oh my goodness, what an absolutely amazing lens. I've worked with orphans overseas and I never take anything for granted when it comes to children. I know nothing you've shared surprises me but it does touch me immensely. I don't know if we will become foster parents or not one day, but, if so, your story because a piece in the fabric of our home's quilt.

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I can't even imagine, I am at a loss for words, but as I dry my tears, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing such a personal story and hope you continue to find the strength and courage to reach the inner happiness you most deserve. - Kathy

    • profile image

      ThomasC 8 years ago

      You story is very touching! I am starring your page and giving you an Angel Blessing! Thanks for telling your story!

      ThomasC

    • profile image

      bdkz 8 years ago

      What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing, you are an inspiration.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 8 years ago

      Your heartfelt story shines with courage, conviction and love! Thank you for letting me in to learn more about you and our flawed foster system! ~Peace

    • profile image

      Little_Brother 8 years ago

      Hey Sis!

      This is Darrell, AKA "Little_Brother" I just wanted to say THANK YOU! for not only sharing our story to me but to everyone else out there who REALLY DON'T have a clue what it's like not knowing what you will be doing or where you will be from one day to the next!

      You said [The 2 youngest don't remember much about foster care, but does that mean they weren't affected?] I think that we were affected by it, at least I was. To this day all I want is to be LOVED, truly loved. Not money, not fame or glory, not material things,or anything else....just LOVED!

      I have a definition to that very powerful word "LOVE".....

      "LOVE IS A GIFT WICH IS GIVEN YET RARELY RECEIVED"

      I remember some things & some things that you wrote reminded me of the past.

      Your right though, I don't remember much about my childhood, mostly because nobody will talk to me about it...it's PAINFUL I know.

      I thank GOD above for inspiring you to write this about our lives, and I thank & love you.

      Darrell

    • billco1 profile image

      billco1 8 years ago

      You've told your story well. I always wonder about all the pain we come across in our daily lives, but have no idea how much those people are hurting. Most people do learn how to keep it all in and move on. The hurt always lives inside to some extent.

    • profile image

      poutine 8 years ago

      Thanks for making us understand what it means to be a foster child.

      I never would have thought that you could have so much pain, I thought

      that foster parents were good people.

    • profile image

      Jodhiay 8 years ago

      Wow. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    • mistyblue75605 lm profile image

      mistyblue75605 lm 8 years ago

      Wow! Thanks for the story that was shared! I don't agree with the state that takes children and places them with foster parents that are just looking for a paycheck! How are the children better off? 5*'s!!!! I know this had to be hard!

    • profile image

      vharodark 8 years ago

      Gracias por dejarnos conocerte y compartir tu vida y tus sueños!!!

      Great!

    • profile image

      AlyssaAst 8 years ago

      wow, a very moving story. It is great you wrote this because foster children's voices are often left unheard. My husband and I are looking into doing foster care and it was very informative to hear a childs perspective on the life. Thank you for writing this.

    • profile image

      Sydney_B 8 years ago

      im so sorry that you were a foster child. would you please come to my lenses?

      im a foster child to.

    • greenerme profile image

      greenerme 8 years ago

      Amazing story, very heartfelt. Congratulations on LOTD!

    • profile image

      Jenysie 8 years ago

      I too have been a foster child, in fact I "aged" out of the system and what you said was true about foster children ending up homeless...I was one! You are also right in saying don't feel sorry for yourself!! Yeah something terrible happened to you, but move on don't let it get you down, don't let them win! I completely agree!! There are a lot of people that dwell on the past and let it completely take over their life, they have unfortunately lost...but they can turn things around and put on a smile, a determined heart, and win the game!!

      Thanks so much for sharing your story!! I wish that something would open the eyes of the system, because there are too many children that just get stuck in a home where they are not actually wanted and worse things happen to them than would have at home!

      If you are planning on becoming a foster parent, do it for the right reasons...not the dollar sign!!

      5*****

      With love,

      Jenysie

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      This lens was destined to be LOTD. Thanks again for sharing your story. Congratulations!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 8 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD, I gave the 5* long ago!

    • restlesslimbs lm profile image

      restlesslimbs lm 8 years ago

      Thank you for telling your story. You are giving a voice to children that are suffering right now. God bless you,

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Another wow for this remarkable lens. You are so brave. Very deserving of lens of the day - Congratulations!

    • profile image

      pheobe918 8 years ago

      i was a foster child too.

    • GreenRevolution profile image

      GreenRevolution 8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your amazing story. I'm so glad that you're still strong and hopeful after what you have been through. I'm sure that this will inspire others in the same situation. I'm not a foster child, but you have certainly inspired me. Really great job!

      5 *****

      Best wishes,

      Bruce

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I too was a foster child when i reached adolescents i let being a foster child over take me. I fell into a state were i thought i was not loved. I had no brother and sisters. My mother left my dad an I, when i was about 4. I was mentally, verbaly, and physiclly abused by my father. I went to see i docter about my feelings when i was about 15. He really helped me and i am very thankful for him. Today i am a pretty succseful artist. It was very brave and strong of you to share your story. Thankyou

      P.S I know a good book its called "A Child Called It" written by a man who was in foster care all his life. It is a series, I think you will like it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      What a sad, sad story. I feel for you and all the other children who suffer like this. Lets hope the authorities are more careful in the future about who they entrust innocent children to.

      wombat666

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hi, I squidooed over from Tipi's after seeing you signed her guest book. You have an important story and you tell it so well--I hope that telling it is healing for you as it will be for others whose childhood innocence was stolen by a system that was supposed have protected them. Your Daddy always loved you and wanted you with him, he did the best he knew how to do.

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

      A well deserved LOTD. I first visited this lens long ago and your story has stayed with me. It really struck a cord with me as I once was a lawyer litigating for those who were abused in children's homes. I wish that more people like you would stand up and tell their story. I do not pretend to understand the pain that you and all those hundreds of others that I spoke to went through. I always felt completely inadequate as to what to say. You have had the courage to move on and can inspire others too if that is the path that you choose.

    • wahlees profile image

      Barry Wah Lee 8 years ago from Auckland

      I will try to put it into my list of sad stories,

      I may try to put it on to a Face book place to say that men can have a hard time after divorces.

    • profile image

      PeacefulWmn9 8 years ago

      This hits me right in the heart. Thank you for sharing a courageousness like none other.

      Karen

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Wow. Touching story & well deserved LOTD - and so fitting just before Christmas too. Congrats on making it out of all that sane.

    • solarstories lm profile image

      solarstories lm 8 years ago

      Very well written. You have gotten your message across well and made an impact. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • profile image

      AdriennePetersen 8 years ago

      5 stars and congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image

      Joan4 8 years ago

      Congratulations on Lens of the Day! This is one of my favorite lenses of all! You did such a great job telling your very personal story -- and it will be helpful in touching the hearts of those who vote on and manage these programs!

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 8 years ago from England

      Firstly, thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings and memories of your childhood. I come into contact with children in care from time to time in my job. I have the opportunity to be part of a new team in January. The role will be to help develop a feeling of belonging for children in care. Working one on one with the children, their schools and the families. I'd been a bit indecisive over this. Reading your lens has now made me determined to go for it. If I can make things even a little better for just one child, I'll have succeeded. Thank you. Congratulations on LOTD. This is one of the best lenses I have read on Squidoo. I'd be honoured if you'd submit it for inclusion on the Emotional Wellbeing Group. 5* seems a bit feeble in the scheme of things ;)

    • profile image

      Tarra99 8 years ago

      So touching. Thank you for sharing.

      Well deserved LotD! *****

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 8 years ago from Sweden

      I too am a foster child. They gave me away when I was 1 year old. The plan was that one of my parents would take me "back" one day. It never happened.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I'm so happy to see Debra get some richly-deserved recognition. I enjoy her lenses about castles, planets, history and so on. Great stuff!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 8 years ago from Vermont

      This lens is what I think of as a superb LOTD. Your story touched me in so many ways. I was not a foster child but I considered being a foster parent several times. I hope and pray the system can get fixed and more children will have better experiences. And thank God that good Dads can get custody these days. Thank you for sharing this; it must be challenging.

    • profile image

      savemyrelationship 8 years ago

      While I was not a foster child, I grew up in a home where I was not wanted. I learned to become a good person in spite of my mother and step-father rather than because of them. I really loved the end of this lens because it speaks of choice. Everyone has choices and you don't have to let the bad things that happen beat you down. Very deserving of the "Lens of the Day" award.

    • profile image

      karmasherbs 8 years ago

      So happy to see this as - Lens of the day. Although I'm not a foster child - your story has had a deep impact on my own personal story. Your strength shines!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 8 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I feel no words will top what you have written here. This lens deserves this little honor of the day. "Whether they be old or young,...every individual is seen to be strongly actuated by a desire to be seen, heard, talked of, and approved and respected." John Adams

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great lens. I currently work in the child welfare system. I use to be a case worker, but have made career advancements in the field since starting over 10 years ago. I have placed many children in foster homes and I know first hand the tremendous impact this has on children that have been ripped from the only environment they know and placed in a home with total strangers. I tried my best to make the move as easy and as painless as possible but even when children are being neglected or abused by those who supposed to love them they are not always eager to leave, they still love their mother, father, aunt, uncle or whoever the abuser is. The hurt is compounded if all children cannot be placed in the same foster home. I am still employed in the child welfare field and constant changes are being made - whether they are for the better is a question I cannot answer. But I can say this, we still and will always need more foster homes. The need is huge.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • MommaKnows LM profile image

      MommaKnows LM 8 years ago

      Oh my goodness. When I was little, my parents had several foster children. My sister and I loved having them with us, but back in those days they would move children when it appeared they or the family were "becoming attached", so we didn't have any kids more than 3-5 months. Now as an adult, I am a licensed foster parent. I see every placement as God-given: for the child- a safe family environment with structure and routines they can count on; for us- the opportunity to touch a life and to learn a bit about ourselves in the process. Your story made me cry, because I know and have personally seen horrendous things in this flawed system. The tragedy here lies in the amount of time that it took for them to get you returned to your dad... wasted time. As a foster parent, I work closely with biological families when it is possible. I will push a social worker to locate a missing father or grandparent. Praise God you were able to come back to family.

      This lens was so needed!

    • profile image

      Mishjayne 8 years ago

      Bless you for finding the courage to go back in time and share your life back then. Those horrible families didn't break you. You stand before us today, strong, courageous, and above all whole-hearted.

      Have a wonderful holiday!

    • profile image

      bdkz 8 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD!

    • profile image

      GrowWear 8 years ago

      A hearty congratulations for LOTD! Superb lens.

    • profile image

      Aliensexist112 8 years ago

      thanks for sharing. Guys believe it or not but when I was reading this lens I was listening to Blink 182 - Hope (descendants cover) in Media Player.I had only 4 songs in my play list. And then suddenly when Hope finished Blink 182- What Went Wrong (which is really sad song)started.Omg..It even wasn't on my play list. Omg. Once again thanks for sharing.

    • dlcummings profile image

      dlcummings 8 years ago

      WOW Congratulations Mom! I'm soooo happy that you got lens of the day! I had never read this lens before, but it is very great! I'm sorry that you had such an awful childhood. Thank you for doing a WONDERFUL job raising me, my sisters and my little bro!

    • lynnasafriend profile image

      lynnasafriend 8 years ago

      Amazing lens, I was a foster child, i went through about 10 foster families. Found one that really loved me and I consider them my family. I knew my birth mom all my life and we were able to get back with her at the age of 16. I'm of course way past that now, but it was a long rough road. Our birth family is altogether now, except for my who sisters who passed away very young. We keep going ahead and changing the paths of our future and our children's futures.

    • profile image

      chipmunksflowers 8 years ago

      I think you were lucky-you had a happy ending and whent back to a dad that loved you eventually.I think it's a brilliant idea this fund because for a lot of foster kids there is no happy ending.I would be interested in helping if you wanted me to get word out about the charity.

    • Janusz LM profile image

      Janusz LM 8 years ago

      At last!! is all I can say :) I am really pleased you got LOTD No one deserves it more than you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I am so thrilled that this lens made LOTD and I knew it would be when I first visted last month. Thank you again for sharing such a heartfelt story about your life. - Kathy

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 8 years ago

      Sorry about the struggle and I wonder what I would have done? I do know that when the time came I did not assign my sons to foster care although I am a handicapped single man. I have raised my youngest since he was six and I know how losing a parent (even if they just abandoned you) must feel. Derek (my son) has never forgiven his mother, however I love him and at seventeen he is the sweetest boy you'll ever meet. Foster care is obviously not the answer. Everyone thought that I would assign my sons to foster care, which I could not even imagine! Remember fathers love and care as much as mothers, let that be an alternative to foster care, which is obviously a broken system. God bless you, and I hope you have happiness now that your nightmare is over.

    • profile image

      Tracy-B 8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      clafun08 8 years ago

      We grow strong, with life goes on.......

      Great lens!

      Come to visit my lenses on traveling in China. http://www.squidoo.com/beijing-hotels-tour

    • profile image

      a-ha-design 8 years ago

      Your story is touching. Congratulations for LOTD! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Really nice lens expressing the feelings of young children.Sensitive and humble feelings.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 8 years ago from Washington KS

      Well deserved LOTD designation. Your lens is well written and informative. What an amazing documentary of journey you've had!

      My hat is off to you. Merry Christmas.

    • profile image

      JohnRoma 8 years ago

      Beautiful, i was listening to a "sad-but-beautiful" song(elevatione - ataraxia) while i was reading through this lens and the angelic arts made it more touching .

    • profile image

      glowchick 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this with the world. I respect and understand those feelings and your courage to let others in, I hope has helped in the healing process for yourself. I love what you say about not letting your past define you as a person (or be a shadow of one) and that's true, if you want to, you can overcome the things of the past and not be a victum of it. It doesn't mean you'll just forget about it, it means IT won't have you. Best wishes to you.

    • supercibor lm profile image

      supercibor lm 8 years ago

      This a fabulous lens.

      Congratulationw

    • zGreat LM profile image

      zGreat LM 8 years ago

      Amazing experience! I wonder how deep is your patience. I've someone i know, who have an illegitimate child at a young age but never gave up her child to any foster care. And, I'm proud of her. 5 star for your lens and you!

    • profile image

      annamarielongfellow 8 years ago

      You wrote much of my life! I will post the scholarship fund link on my other social pages. Blessings, aL

    • Megal LM profile image

      Megal LM 8 years ago

      I have to say, this is a very inspirational read. Definitely deserved Lens of the day. (I don't just say that to any LOTD lens)

    • profile image

      elishadavis 8 years ago

      a sad story, thanks for sharing it with us. Hope your life is better now.

    • profile image

      diggyisking 8 years ago

      wow...and I complain about the stuff that goes wrong in my life, I guess sometimes we take for granted what we have, while others are much worse off, in the end, i guess all that matters is that you are alive and healthy, and thus have the freedom to do anything you want in life. You just have to play with the cards you are dealt:) Awesome story, best of luck to you!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 8 years ago from San Francisco

      Your story is hugely important, and I am grateful, first, for your courage in sharing it and second for Squidoo highlighting so more of us could find it. My dearest friend, herself a child of the system from 6 months to emancipation at 18, has been a social worker in the child welfare system for many years, striving to provide to others the best of what she got and to prevent, to the best of her abilities, the worst of what she got, and what she got was as bad as it can get and live to tell the tale. Her job brings long hours and tremendous heartache, and always, she works from within, trying to change the system for the better. She is one of my personal heroes.

      Your strength, not only to survive but to build a good life for yourself and to trust enough to raise a family of your own (I saw your daughter's comment above), is a beacon of hope for all children of the system.

      Congratulations to a much-deserved LOTD.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      great lens have never commented on a lens b4 but that was just outstanding.

    • profile image

      farizjamean 8 years ago

      Inspiring... a little deep and dark. but I guess I am not in the position to judge. I still have both my loving parent. After reading your lens, I just got the urge to call them up. Just to say hi and say I love them...

      Thanks.

    • Angelina Gherna profile image

      Angelina 8 years ago from California

      Children to this day are still falling through the cracks in the foster system and many foster parents are just looking at it as a source of income...this was a very sad story, and I'm sorry that you and your siblings were treated so horribly. It's very kind of you to make people aware of how it can be for innocent children.

    • profile image

      KaylaB 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. It is wonderful that your were able to rise above your early traumas and become the caring person you are now. It is horrible how some people feel that they can abuse young innocent children, and even worse that they get away with it.

      Great lens, and great cause.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 8 years ago

      I am so sorry for what you went through. No child should ever have to experience that. I hope you sharing your story makes a difference because it's a story that really needs to be out there and read. God bless you.

    • profile image

      HERBMASTER 8 years ago

      WOW that was intense. Makes you appreciate your life!

      Mark

    • profile image

      TiZargon 8 years ago

      I too spent most of my childhood to the age of 18 in and out of the system, I was in the newspaper one time I was told. I have never been able to write about it without breaking down, maybe one day I will be able to share it with the public. Back then no adult would believe me and there was no one to stop the abuse. I wish more adults would stop and listen and reach out and help, it could save a life in more ways then they could every know. At least there are happy beginnings for some, but not enough.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 8 years ago

      Very enlightening lens...very real. I've read an autobiography or two about kids who've had similar experiences. The damage that is done to children is sometimes impossible to heal and for others it takes half a lifetime to work through. How can we fix this? I wonder if institutions like orphanages are better? It would seem that a loving environment should be the first priority over money. Why couldn't they give your dad or grandmother what they were paying to the foster families to allow them to raise you? None of this is for you to answer of course, just rhetorical.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      How many tears did you shed writing this lens? I'm not sure how you were able to get it down on paper! I just came in to freshen up my lens and saw yours and got no further...its so very sad but so very good! God Bless.

    • adventuresinaut profile image

      adventuresinaut 8 years ago

      I'm so sorry that you were subjected to such evil people and that they robbed you of a happy childhood. I'm sorry that the system failed you so miserably. I'm so glad God gave you the inner strength and fortitude to survive. I'm so glad you can still find joy in life and be hopeful. Thanks for sharing your story to make others aware. I hope is that stories this will help to bring about change for the other innocent young souls caught in a flawed system through no fault of their own.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I had a similar childhood...it is not easy. Thank you for writing such a great page about this :)

    • Mar1anneC profile image

      Mar1anneC 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I am glad your Dad got you all back. A very sweet looking family. It must have been very hard for you to write this.

    • unsinkablewoman profile image

      unsinkablewoman 8 years ago

      Dear Debra,

      I Want to tell you how very sorry I am for the pain you had to deal with

      I had to deal with only mental abuse I was not able to overcome it as well as you did

      I was broken in way's I can't explain I am so happy you could survive this horrible ordeal, I wish that something could be done to the people that hurt you and your siblings they should have to feel the wrath of God upon them, Anyone that could hurt innocent children deserve to go to hell but only after they suffer to but I don't know a punishment strong enough to justify what pain you have suffered

      I am Proud of you for telling your story tell it to whomever will listen take a stand not only for you and your siblings but all foster children thank you fantastic lens 5*****

    • profile image

      seegreen 8 years ago

      Your story is so sad, but very eye-opening. I hope that there are many more like the Hayes around. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 8 years ago

      I have to admire you for sharing your deepest pain... You're obviously very brave and strong person to stay sane through all the challenges you were forced to face as a child.

    • profile image

      nooranwer 8 years ago

      I am sorry what you went through.... It's a great lens....Debra you are really strong to write it.... I am literally crying while reading your story

    • heehaw lm profile image

      heehaw lm 8 years ago

      well, i am happy that finally your dad came back to accept all of you as a family again. i can't imagine those other foster parents which would forced you to worked for them. arrrrgh... that's insane. - however thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Back to say Congratulations on getting Lens of the Day. I was fostered just for 2 weeks when I was five years old - it was horrible. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      dbrooks91 8 years ago

      This has to have taken a load off your shoulder. Though I am sure the hurt still remains. Hopefully you can use your experience to help others and in turn it will serve as therapy for you.

      It is horrible how children are abused physically, and mentally. The sad part is that it also happens in households with both natural parents.

      I also wanted to state that I have seen time and time again, children removed from good foster homes, for no good reason. Even though many foster parents do it for the money, there are many that don't. The system fails in so many ways.

      I wish you all the best, and keep us posted,

      Doreen Brooks

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I was a foster parent for a while. It was hard to see how much the children just waited for the moment that they could just go home again. The disappointments and broken hearts effected me emotionally. I only had a child for 2 -3 weeks at a time, but really got attached to them in that time. It was alawys heart warming when they would stop by after they had returned home, just to say thanks! 5*'s

    • profile image

      CCB 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story. It had to be hard.

      Touching lens

      CCB

    • mywebcontent profile image

      mywebcontent 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story. It was very powerful. I want to share with you that you are not 'broken' in any way. You are perfect the way you are and your experiences were in the way shape and form that allowed you to be who you are today in your own perfection. I am not saying they weren't trying and in many cases absolutely frightening. I don't know if I would have even survived into adulthood the way you have. You are truly a brave individual. I understand about the shutting down and disconnecting in order to keep going. That is all you have when you are young and at the mercy of the world.

      I would love to share something that has made an immeasurable difference in my life in terms of being able to rise above whatever comes my way, and that is a course called "The Choice Is Mine". It's phenomenal at going deep and allowing you to get to the other side of those emotions that you feel may be still "getting in your way". It's at thechoiceismine.com.

      Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      im really touched! and this lens deserves to be the LOTD!

    • broker1 lm profile image

      broker1 lm 8 years ago

      Yours is the first lens i have ever replied too. I am glad you could share this with us.

      Most people i think are nice/good people, but those "Evil" ones that could ever hurt a kid are the worst.

      I hope at this point in time, you are happy and have some young sons/daughters you can share your love with , and treat them the way you have always wanted to be treated.

      So sorry you and yours ever had to go through such evil.

      God Bless you

    • julcal profile image

      julcal 8 years ago

      Debra,

      They can never steal your hope and can never break your soul - those are yours forever. I find it highly honorable that you have chosen to live through your God-given talents instead of wasting away in a position of victim-entitlement.

      Your story is horrific, but your lens is beautiful. You were blessed with a creative soul. Your story is one I will never forget. And when I find myself feeling as if life hasn't been fair to me, I'll give myself a little smack on the forehead and remember the truly heart-breaking, yet gorgeous lens you made for us to look at.

      God Bless,

      Julie

    • julcal profile image

      julcal 8 years ago

      I forgot to give my rating *****

      And BTW, i just read your bio - I would understand completely. We're called introverts :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate to things you tell even though my life was not ever that scary or depressing. I was adopted at a young age and I adopted both of my children. Not being raised by one's Mom & Dad leaves a lot to be desired. None of us were ever in Foster Care. I have had friends who have taken children into their homes under the Foster Care program and I can assure you, the homes are not ALL like the ones you experienced. Thank Heavens! Know in your heart that your story has touched lives. I took the Foster Care education program required to be a Foster Parent; I could not finish the program to the extent of accepting the children, it was just too hard. I fall in love easily and to see how many of those children don't make it was more than I could have done. I encourage you to become a Foster Care parent yourself and help change the World! God Bless.

    • profile image

      irisluvr 8 years ago

      Great lens. You have made me see how fortunate I am, even when the chips are down. A well told rendering of your time in foster care.

    • profile image

      rachelcarpenterjoyful327 8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing - I'm a former CPS caseworker and left because the system was too flawed for me to deal with.....

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 8 years ago

      Though all foster parents are not like the ones you had to endure living with, I agree in your assessment that too many people are into foster care for the wrong reasons.

      Personally, I feel that foster parents should be chosen for children in the same way parents would go about hiring babysitters; every precaution should be made to find the most suitable environment for children. Also, children SHOULD HAVE input as to where they will be living. They should be involved in the interviews not just delivered to a new home. Furthermore, siblings should always remain together.

      I feel for you and your siblings. I can only imagine the pain you've endured and your desire to flee many of the painful memories associated with your past...and it's tragic that most of your troubles came as a result of a poor decision on your mother's part.

      Thanks for sharing this lens...thanks for rising above all the storms life has brought your way. You are a survivor and I, for one, am proud of you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 8 years ago from California

      An incredibly moving lens. Thank you so much for sharing yourself. I could not stop reading. I had to read every single word. It is shameful what people do to each other. And it's so sad what it does to the people/kids they inflict themselves on. I applaud you for your strength, your ability to laugh again, and above all for sharing yourself so fully that those of us who have not shared this experience can get a better understanding of the impact that this life has on kids. We can't know the depth but at least we now know the reality and damage of foster care. Bless you for your determination to survive and not succumbing to hatred - of self and others. Bear hugs, Frankie

    • profile image

      ramunga 8 years ago

      So sorry you had to go through something painful and that goes against nature. I look forward to a better world when those who harm others, be they child, adult, or animal, will no longer be allowed to exist on this earth! A time when parents will treat their children the way God intended, with love and respect, and all the fruits of the spirit! We don't need to feel pain to appreciate love or to be shaped, the scriptures tell us "just a little while longer and the wicked one will be no more" how comforting!

    • profile image

      ChicagoFrank 8 years ago

      I grew up in an adopted family. The funny thing is I diddn't know I was adopted until I hit my late 30s. My adopted mother passed away, and never told me the truth. Your story touched me, and I will make a contribution.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      A touching account of life as you have lived it. It is written from deep within, and it has the ability to change minds and hearts.

    • profile image

      termitetrooper 8 years ago

      What a touching lens I have just adopted My niece before foster care took her! I could not imagine what she could have been put through. Thank you for your story.

    • profile image

      Ronda73 8 years ago

      I hope all is well in your life now. I know you can't forget, but forgiveness is something else. I remember when social worker came to my house when I was 10 years old and told my mother that we had a third cousin who is about to go to foster care and if my mother wanted to take him instead. My mother said "no" and I came into the kitchen and said "Please take him, I will take care of him.". At the time my mother was a "silent" drunk and I was already caring for my other brother. I begged so much, she said "ok, but for a short time until they find him a home". Well he slept in my room (Oh, he was 6 months when he came to our home), and I took very good care of him, as well as my other brother. My foster brother turned into my adopted brother when he was 16 years old. I love my brother more than anyone could imagine and I thank god for him everyday. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • profile image

      rogerrowe 8 years ago

      Incredible. I did not know there was someone out there who could nail it down as good as that.

      And you know what I mean.

    • profile image

      celebrityweight--loss 8 years ago

      Fantastic blog, very inspriring on how you persevered throughout it all.

    • profile image

      ianppk 8 years ago

      splendid

    • profile image

      johnny_newell 8 years ago

      What a wonderful story it prompted me to do something I have never done before, speak out for the first time in print about what it was like growing up as a handicapped child. Although I have verbally spoken about it many times, I have never attempted to sit down and put it in print. Now after 45 long years ( sorry had to wipe away the tears) I am finally using my writing to talent to tell my story. I must thank you for this I might never have done it if I hadn't read your lens. I hope you won't mind if I do my lens along the same layout as yours (I'm not very good at this yet) Can I ask where'd you get the pics are they clipart? Please read my lens and tell me what you think.

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 8 years ago from Minnesota

      What a story. I applaud your courage, especially the courage it took to create this lens. Bless you.

    • Retired-Cop profile image

      Retired-Cop 8 years ago

      I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. Your Lens is an incredible true story. I'm sure this has touched the hearts of many who read it. I'm sure you will touch many peoples lives and change them for the better.

    • Rusty Quill profile image

      Rusty Quill 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story, I'm glad to hear you've kept hold of the laughter and optimism, many wouldn't have. Reading your story reminds me of when I was a kid - my parents used to foster infants and newborns before they were placed with adoptive parents - It may be different for infants but I'm sure there are some pretty bad foster parents for them as well, your story gives me a sense of pride and respect for my parents knowing how much they cared for each and every one of them.

    • profile image

      jooloo 8 years ago

      What an emotional read. Your lens really deserved LOTD. I am glad you have overcome the heartache and I hope your siblings can in time. My mother died when I was 21/2 and my dad (who was wonderful but heartbroken), married a witch. People don't understand how the actions of evil persons can destroy the spirit. Your true tale needs to be told over and over to protect the littlest members of our society. God bless you and yours.

    • jp1978 profile image

      jp1978 8 years ago

      Thank you for writing this.

    • Northernista profile image

      Northernista 8 years ago

      This really hit me. I grew up the same way you did. You really, really made it real. I never spent the time going over what it was like because I always thought no one out there would care, understand, or anything. You do though. You know what it was like. I lived with a woman that made me clean her house constantly, told me that the only thing I was good at was cleaning. She made me eat soap constantly. Never let me go on field trips with my classmates. Never let me leave with family. She always obsessed about my weight. Cut my hair (I looked like a boy).

      It was horrible...

      Thank you for this lens.

    • Maripa LM profile image

      Maripa LM 8 years ago

      I was moved by this. Your not a kid,but you succeeded to describe the feelings of a child ,of you as a child.You lived it and could express it very well. I was the owner of a daycare and preschool,and I know some kids were not treated kind at home. The most important thing to give a child is kindness,even if its not your own child. I understand how you felt when the teacher gave you the piece of gum. Thanks for this true story from the heart.

    • SideSplitters profile image

      SideSplitters 8 years ago

      Wow, great story and lens, thanks for sharing. Congrats on lens of the day!

    • Kimberlykelley profile image

      Kimberlykelley 8 years ago

      My daughter is currently in foster care. And her only being 4 months old is really hard.(she shouldn't be there...it's only because im younge) Your story bad be feel a little better.. that hopefully she got the good house. Im glad you have become a better person, even if it was hard.. Im glad you made this lens..thank you

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      Congratulations on Lens of the Day!

      Have you thought of writing a children's book. Your writing style is so compelling and children need to hear that they are not alone with feeling like these.

    • profile image

      RoseanneBerry 8 years ago

      You really should write a book .

    • profile image

      AdminCorp 8 years ago

      I like the way you made this hit home. So many children find themselves trapped within for varying reasons. Its very common these days but still we have a high level of ignorance.

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 8 years ago

      Wow! Great story, lens & outlook! My husband is a counselor & has been telling people for a while about how foster parents (even the kind, generous ones who give only love and affection) shouldn't expect gratitude from foster kids b/c of exactly what you've said here - their lives are devastated and what they really want is their own family to be repaired. Promote this lens - every GOOD foster parent should read this first, and every bad foster parent should been screened out of the system! I'm still shocked to learn that there are so many bad foster parents out there (b/c I know several good ones! :)

    • velveteen profile image

      velveteen 8 years ago

      I really really hope our foster care system gets better. it may be too late for you, but it's not for all the other kids in foster care!

      you should email this to the powers that be in Arkansas to try to get that ban on foster parents/adoptive parents if they're single. we have 3000 children needing homes and only 1000 licensed homes. ridiculous, right? ):

      this was excellent. definitely favoriting! :D

    • CASHMONEYSILK profile image

      CASHMONEYSILK 8 years ago

      wow. crazy. Good read.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thank you for providing an actionable item at the end of your moving story.

    • profile image

      karinmarie 8 years ago

      Debra.. I like your lens, and I am sure it has opened many peoples eyes. Congratulation on your lens of the Day! That is exciting. My favorite part of your lens is the way we can help and what you learned from your experience.

      Keep up to good work!

      Wishing you the best,

      Karin

      Happy New Year!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Your story was very moving. The saddest thing is that adults in the system

      were so cruel and disappointing, they broke a little girls' spirit. You are truly a survivor. I hope your brothers and sisters feel that they are survivors, too.

      The state should abandon the foster home system, for obvious reasons. The money saved could be used for a shelter for all, with employees who are kind and compassionate; at least, not cruel and abusive. Give the children a secure and safe environment, with close supervision by the state, no matter how much it costs.

      This was well-written. Don't stop writing! May God bless you and your siblings and all the "throw-away" children who still suffer.

    • profile image

      gemgh 8 years ago

      What a compellingly sad story with a happy ending. Thanks God you still have feelings and that you survived. I too was a foster child with my two brothers. We were adopted into a family and my oldest sister went to another family. Almost broke my heart. I saw her regularly but it wasn't easy to visit with our real mom. I had crying episodes. I grew u and was adopted by my foster parents. I never went through what you went through except I did miss my sisters. One was old enough to adopt us but she was single. I can remember evrything that put us where we are today and some of it is too sad to think about. I still have ill feelings associated with my real Mother.

      Bless your heart for writing this story for all to see and realize that we are different and will never be the same. Sometimes I feel like I am someone else. I revert myself back to my real name and wonder what would have happened.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Very touching, I hope that the people who are foster parents are truly good people and should be carefully look at by the childrens administration to be caring and loving foster parents. Great read...

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hi DC64,

      That is an interesting story but it does not sound so bad really. You are right when you said at the end that people can match it… or give a story even worse. But then other peoples stories are always so much worse ;p. I appreciate the way it has been told from the viewpoint of a child, it is a good angle.

      I agree that care of children can be pretty bad; even when it is handled by developed countries like USA, Canada and UK. The thing is though that some of the worst treatment that children get is by their own parents! Unfortunately you seem to have got put into the hands of some real nasty foster carers. I abhor any kind of corporal punishment… what kind of message are you sending a child by hitting them? I am sure there are plenty of good foster carers out there as well (and bad ones as well ;p)

      Hey, what does not kill you makes you stronger! :) What you do now is what matters. You can look at it objectively and that is cool.

      Well done on the squidoo of the day!

      Nate

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Really moved by your story!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      What a brilliant lens.

      I worked in a Children's Home in the UK for a while. The children had already been through foster homes which had failed for various reasons.

      You should write a booklet for the kids who are currently in foster care - it would be great for them to know that it's normal to feel detached and all the other feelings you describe.

      It would also be useful for them to use to open a dialogue with the interested adults in their lives.

      I hope your life turns out to be what you want now - you deserve a break - the very best of luck to you in the future.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      That was so vey nice. Sadly it was a story so very true in this Country. When I was a deputy sheriff I saw so many cases of abused children who were not wanted and so many good people who would have taken them. I saw people who took foster children for only one purpose, the money, I saw a few who took them because they could help.

      God Bless You Casey!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I work to find adoptive families for teenagers and sibling groups in foster care. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Signhappy profile image

      Signhappy 8 years ago

      Your story broke my heart. No child should go through this kind of trauma, yet many do, either in foster homes or their own homes. Your story is important, because by being willing to share it, you are giving those children a voice. Caring adults are their only hope.

      This lens is a good way to reach people. Best of luck to you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Wow. You really touched my heart. I was in foster care for a few years myself, but I was lucky. I was taken in by a wonderful Christian family who only offered love. I admire your strength and your will to rise above it all. Thank you for sharing your story. 5 stars. A definite favorite. I also joined your fan club and will be checking out more from you. Reading this came at the right time for me today. It was the heads up I needed :o)

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Wow! Very touching. Thank ;you for a great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      That was a compelling read - my husband & I have been foster parents, two families of two sisters each time - the little ones who came to us had come from homes where the parents were sick, & were returned to them when they left our family, but while they were with us they WERE our family. We were able to take them to the hospital each day to see their mother.

      Your story touched my heart though, and made me remember why we became a Foster Family in the first place.

      We saw two of our girls in a store last week, the younger one didn't remember us, but her older sister was happy to see us and hugged us both!

      You should consider writing a book for children in foster care, to encourage them, to help them know that being in Care will end, help them to know who to go to, if things are not going well in a particular foster home.

      Or, write articles for Foster Care organizations to publish in their literature - you could encourage so many good people to become Foster Parents.

      Good Luck!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hi

      Your story really hit home.I guese there is not much difference in foster care here in Canada as it is in the states. Even like you there was one family the strick's in Ontario that we kind to me but the CAS soon moved me to a new home so I would not be adopted and they could continue with support from the government.

      I also grew up in foster care from the time I was seven but I was the only one of my siblings made a crown ward and wehen I did find my family after turning 16 I found out I was not welcome and ven though a few of my brothers and sisters tried to reconnect but I guese they are only blood relatives and now at 51 I am alone but for my wife and at peace.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks for writing this.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I am a foster parent and I found your story to be very touching. I can't wait for my two little ones to wake up in order to hug them and tell them l love them.

    • profile image

      jpetals 8 years ago

      That was so very powerful. I am in fact in tears. I once new a family that did foster care and it was for the money.... so heartbreaking for those children that lived with them.

      At first I thought you were going to say all foster homes are hurtful, but after reading through the full article, I understand better that as a child, they likely all seem hurtful because it is not your home and your house.

      My common law partner and I often talk about becoming foster parents. We have two children of our own 3.5 and 2 and although we are finished having our own children, we know we have love to help other children out.

      We are not wealthy, but I work from home and think this would give me the time and attention necessary to do well in this role. I never want to be one of the dreaded foster parents... NEVER. My heart aches for children in distress and this seems like one of the best ways that we could help.

      Thank you for allowing us a peek into your head heart.

    • profile image

      steamtown 8 years ago

      I found myself reading your whole lens. It is too bad that people who are only interested in the "money" are allowed to have foster children stay with them. And now with the economic turndown a lot of these social services budgets will be cut. Until we get our priorities right , the wefare of children will always come in second place to newer weapons systems that can kill more accurately. There is no easy answer to what happened to you, but thank God you seem to have survived. Actually something good has come out of your experience---You are here to educate other people about "this system"

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your touching story and in-depth perspective. Your valuable expression is a tremendous help, for those fostering, for those administrative officials in foster care, as well as most importantly--for those foster children facing their everyday challenges. I feel great empathy for you and your siblings and certainly hope you have found peace and comfort in knowing you are all survivors. Life simply doesn't have to be this way, and it is very disheartening to know too many children experience similar experiences, as yours. None of you deserved the insensitive, deceptive, abusive, and harsh treatment you received. Your experiences have brought wisdom and patience others may never know, or comprehend; and I only wish you the greatest of comfort and safety in being able to rise above your traumatic childhood experiences. Your contribution is significant toward healing for yourself, and others!

    • ChristopherScot1 profile image

      ChristopherScot1 8 years ago

      What a touching lens, thanks for sharing and congrats on Lens of the DAy!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Wow! You have touched so many raw nerves for me. Where to start ...... I had a difficult childhood with divorce, alcoholism, physical-verbal-emotional abuse at the hands of a step-mother - it may as well been a foster mother - the disconnect was always there anyway - we (all 6 kids) lived in fear every day. You brought all those feelings right into perspective. I survived as well and chose to be happy and successful rather than take a victim's stance.

      My other point ... I am a foster parent for 13 years now. I am drawn to the plight of my foster kids. I get it - I understand - I cry with them. I hope that our home is the "one" that they remember as the best. Becoming a foster parent has been very therapeutic for me and helped me to change the world one child at a time. My former children call me, visit me, send cards and we even talk on Facebook and MySpace. (to be continued... running out of blurb space!)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I was so moved by this story. I have never been a foster child. I grew up with a loving mother and a loving but misguided father. I was never abused. Today I am a mother of four and I want so badly to offer my love and family to children that have been given a raw deal. I just don't know if I could handle the letting go. I tend to become attached so easily and the last thing I would want to do is give them up. I offer prayers daily to orphans and children in the system. I know a lot has changed in our world, but not enough. More people need to hear your story. God bless you for rising above and inspiring, but mostly for taking care of your younger siblings. I wish you all the best.

    • profile image

      Sadheeskumar 8 years ago

      Your lens is really touching. I have enjoyed reading your lens. Good way of presentation.

      Good luck to you. If you got a time visit my lens and provide your feedback.

      http://www.squidoo.com/extramoneyineasyway

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      In all that you been threw, Its a miracle that you kept yourself alive and well. The reality of this is still going on.

      I've witness so many single women who have to raise there children without a husband. Am a single person who drives special need kids to school who are physically or mentally unable to care for themselves. I have driven others children from 3yrs to 22 yrs of age. Some had a well balance home and others had broken home. They all have a story to tell and it surprising what you hear from them.

      The teacher who gave you a stick of gum that day how small that was but to this day. It was a gift of love that will never be forgotten..

      Just taken the time to listen to these kids and being real but honest to them. They can tell if your real or not. You can't not fool them with time they will see the real person.

      How the home structure has follow apart with no foundation to stand on. Where no example to look for in this times.

      Thank You for your time and love!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hi Debra,

      Thank you for sharing your inspiring and insightful story.

      My friend raised 69 foster children. Plus 5 of her own. She was a GOOD foster mother... had rules, regulations, got the teen-age ones jobs flipping burgers and sent them into the world at age 18 with their own bankrolls.

      She has a beautiful heart.

      My own mom was separated from her 2 brothers when she was 3 and their mom died. They were all adopted separately... only the older brother remembered the younger siblings,,, and tracked them down as adults.

      Your beautiful heart-felt story is a reminder to all of us to extend love in little ways daily. What can seem so insignificant to a giver is a life-line to one receiving. You know... the random acts of kindness every day lifestyle.

      Perhaps you would like to write a story or post on my forgiveness blog? I would be honored to feature your story.

      Happy New Year!

      Blessings,

      Pat Crosby

      Author: The little Book of ForGIVEness

      http://ILoveForGIVEness.com

    • profile image

      roysumit 8 years ago

      You have been candid enough to pour your heart out. I am really moved by your lens. Congrats on your LOTD.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Wow...what a moving story, thank you for opening up and sharing. You can do a lot of good just by sharing your experiences with foster kids or perhaps becoming a foster parent...One that truly cares about displaced kids. Good luck to you.

    • WhitU4ever profile image

      WhitU4ever 8 years ago

      Thanks for writing your story. I remember a lot about my childhood too. I was also an observer... and still am. I'm glad you told everyone how important it is that you weren't hit or yelled at in the good homes, and how it taught your brother anger and violence. I was taught this while taking college courses for certification in early childhood. The teacher showed us statistics from long-term studies that indicated why spanking promotes violence... it doesn't work. It should be mandatory for college-aged students to take courses like these. 5*'s and congrats on being chosen for lens of the day! ;)

    • carolkelly lm profile image

      carolkelly lm 8 years ago

      I am so touched by your story. It was so honest, and so familiar. Although I was never in foster care, my childhood felt like it. My father was a brutal alchoholic, my mother ineffectual and scared. We moved constantly, as my father didn't play well with others. We lived in Australia for a time. Just down the street was an orphanage, run by nuns. I used to run away to the orphanage. All those kids, and NO parents, somehow appealed to me! I lived with my parents only as long as I had to. I have never been back, and I have nothing to do with them, or my only brother who let them win. He is now a bitter, lonely alchoholic.

      I am now almost 49, happily married, and the mother of two exceptional young people. My son (20), and my daughter (18), are happy, successful, kindhearted individuals. I always said I would never have kids, but I did. And I did it to prove to myself that you could raise children with love. I never raised a hand to them.

      Carol-www.squidoo.com/problemchildren

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your life with us. I am an ex-teacher and have known both foster kids and kids who probably would have been better off in foster car - believe it or not! You have touched my heart and you should be proud of that. Best regards to you. Have a wonderful life!!

    • profile image

      ladyoflove 8 years ago

      You wrote it so wonderfully. I too was a foster child. I could write a book about it. Maybe one day I will take some time and write about it myself. I couldn't do as good of a job as you just did. Well done. From one foster kid to another. Hold your head up high we survived we are alive!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Wow. You're an inspiration to us all. If you can make it through that; then they're really are no limits to the human potential.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to EagleScoutMom] (continued blurb...) The foster care system is here to stay regardless of how many dark clouds hang over it. Kids need to be rescued from their mentally ill parents every day! There are children out there that you can help - you get it - only people like us do. They are waiting for you and when you step forward you will begin to heal that part of your heart. And then you will see that foster parents are not just in it for the money. It is a life changing commitment for you and the tortured souls you will help to heal. You will be their piece of gum.

    • EpicFarms profile image

      EpicFarms 8 years ago

      What a wonderfully touching lens! I can only imagine how hard it would be to write it all out and relive it again, but I am sure that because you did it will be a blessing for someone somewhere who desperately needed to read it. It always amazes me to look back through terrible adversity and see the many ways God helps us to make it through (your first family, the teacher, etc. :o) Thank you for sharing this story.

    • profile image

      site-builder 8 years ago

      Dear Debra

      I am inspired by your story. You have gone through so much and have gained much truth.

      Your hardships have made your very strong and even though now you are an adult your soul grows and grows and you keep an easy free spirit

    • profile image

      Beth58 8 years ago

      Hey Debra,

      I know just how hard is was to tell your story, I was one of the " lucky " ones

      I was only in one foster home, and it wasn't as bad as what you and your

      siblings had to go through, at least not physically. I don't want to take up a lot

      of space here so I'm not going to tell my whole story, I may put it in a lens

      someday. What I want to say is, I understand the pain you and your siblings

      went through and I think you are one very strong lady to have been able

      to go through all you did and still come out of it as a loving person and

      able to raise your children the opposite of how you were treated as a child.

      Congrats on lens of the day! May God Bless You and Yours.

    • DimitriPreacher profile image

      DimitriPreacher 8 years ago

      It is very sad story, hope that everything will work out for you :)

    • profile image

      freddi 8 years ago

      Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. It's hard to know what to say. My heart breaks for you and all of the children who have gone through what you have.

    • profile image

      mbblueberry 8 years ago

      Hi, I love reading your story although it is sad. It almost made me cry. I am now 32, the eldest among my 4 siblings. I lost my mom at 18 and my dad at 19 because of sickness. Our relatives took us and we live separately in the different islands of our country because one family can not afford to raise us up due to poverty. So, they decided to take only one child. I wasn't able to finish studies so I was helpless. Our youngest is supposed to live with another family but she wants, really want to be with me, she was 6. So we stayed together in the house of my Aunt. They are very kind to us and they love us as their own children. But I didn't know what life my other siblings had when they were out of my sight. I supposed they have the same with us. But as I read your story, I was able to relate it to my experience too.Only then we were not that young when we lost our parent.May I know how old are you now?At the end of your story,I feel happy because you are already in you real father: )

    • profile image

      EmbraceMax 8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing that - It really touched me and it does amaze me how some people no matter how hard their life has been are able to raise about it. You seem to be one of those people and I admire you for that.

      Ellen

    • gozergirl profile image

      gozergirl 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Eklectik1 profile image

      Eklectik1 8 years ago

      Thank you for telling your story. I have always been aware that although my parents were not perfect I felt very safe and was very lucky for what I had. I try every day to give the same to my children.

      Best of luck

    • profile image

      Poliarci 8 years ago

      Touching. My Dad was in Foster care back in 1930s for a brief time. Reading your story helps me to understand his difficulty with expressing emotions. I'm his last kid of 5, and taught him to heed my request to say "I love you." when I was 25 and he 65. It's never to late to express yourself.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Wow! Your childhood makes my heart bleed. I was a single foster parent for several years and would like to think that I was one of the good ones. I would never hit a child, especially one that has come from a home where being hit was a normal part of life. I am so glad I came across your story here as it has helped put my experiences with fostering into a little bit clearer perspective. The money I received for fostering was necessary, as it was my source of income, but that wasn't the reason I chose to foster. I love kids, and I wanted to provide a safe loving home for kids that hadn't experienced much of that if any. I would still be fostering if it wasn't for my health issues. I am going to make it a priority to pass on this story to everyone I know in the fostering field. Thank you very much for sharing your story with us. It must not have been easy to relive it over again.

    • EducatorWithaHe profile image

      EducatorWithaHe 8 years ago

      Dear Debra

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I was a foster care social worker before I changed careers to be a teacher. I encounter many people who just don't understand the trauma and pain that foster children experience. I still do some training and support groups occasionally, and I tell foster parents that they should not expect gratitude. Your sharing inspires and liberates others to be strong and to reach out. Take care.

    • profile image

      dtopping 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story! Very thoughtful and heartwarming. My wife was adopted by her aunt after her mother died when she was four. Her father never wanted to be in her life. He wanted a boy. Her aunt (aka Mom now) believed that she should be grateful that they adopted her. Grateful! Can you believe that? Her and her new mom never have gotten along very well. This is not the way it should be. Nobody should ever be required to be grateful for something they had no control of.

    • BeautifulGreenB profile image

      BeautifulGreenB 8 years ago

      This was difficult to read. This was blunt. This was painful. This was sad. This was angering. This was hopeful. This was inspirational. This was happy. This was wonderful to read. Thank you for writing it.

    • TopStyleTravel profile image

      TopStyleTravel 8 years ago

      Congrats on the Top 100! Thanks for having the courage to tell your story. I have known foster children that had bad experiences. And ones that had good foster parents. It is a shame when people prey on the most innocent and weakest members of society. Glad you are a survivor. I encourage anyone that can give their time & resources to help children in need. It helps me sleep better at night.

    • profile image

      KD-Amazing-Weddings 8 years ago

      Wow! What a story and what timing. I was just asked by my friend who is the Director of Children's Aid if I might be interested in becoming a foster family. I had been considering fostering the elderly but, they have such passion that I'm considering children. Now I wonder if I would be able to. Never having been involved in any sort of hitting I can't imagine how children who experienced that would feel. I was only thinking of giving them a place of "safety" and "normalcy". Your story has made me rethink fostering children. I don't know if I would have the skills to help them to overcome such deep hurt......... I sure wish there was a way to weed out anyone in the foster care system who hurts the children that are placed in their care!

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 8 years ago from Detroit

      Dreadful things to happen to such beautiful children! Through it all the thing you most remember, and cherish the most, was love, patience and stability. Its a truly worthy story. Welcome to the Tough Topics group. 5*, angel blessing, favorite and lensroll to several well-travelled pages.

    • Moondial profile image

      Moondial 8 years ago

      Great story, good to know that what I've observed in children I've known is actually correct & mostly accurate. It's no different here in the UK. I had a very close friend who lived with her real parents & sister, but her parents fostered in boys on a regular basis (as they had no boys of their own), I watched her parents love change from their own children, who ended up being ignored, to the two foster boys. My friend, their eldest child, went off the rails, drugs, alcohol abuse, many people got very caught up in this too, myself inclusive. She was then in a serious car accident, she spent 3 months unconscious in hospital... At this point, he parents finally realised that their real children also needed them.

      Also love the happy note at the end with your random fact about Star Trek.

    • profile image

      monica66 8 years ago

      I am greatly blest to read your story. What a terrific person you are.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      thanks for sharing your story. I think you are a brave girl. coz first of all you shared this story to the public and you are brave to handle all those situations. have a nice life!

    • Czarque profile image

      Czarque 8 years ago

      You are so courageous - thank you for sharing your story!

    • KarenMiller2 profile image

      KarenMiller2 8 years ago

      Hello Debra,

      Thank you for sharing your story. And thank you for sharing your grief and anger so eloquently. I know your childhood was difficult beyond anyone's understanding.

      I am a foster parent. I found so much freedom when one day a few years ago, I was talking to a little girl in my care, and told her that I knew she didn't want me...that she wanted her own mom & dad...and that was OK with me...it didn't hurt my feelings. She relaxed so much after that....we both did...and were able to have a much better relationship.

      People who offer foster care need to understand that the kids don't want us...and we need to be OK with that.

      Thanks again for sharing!

      Karen

    • TheInfamous7 profile image

      TheInfamous7 8 years ago

      Wonderful!! :-) x Surely worth a Blessing...

    • profile image

      GenFind 8 years ago

      Outstanding lens. You are truly brave for making this one and I hope that your friends charity for foster children's education goes well. I've heard many stories of children in foster care and, unfortunately, yours seems to be the norm rather than the exception. Please, though, remember that there are thousands out there that DO want to be good foster parents and DO care! I wish you the best of luck.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 8 years ago from California

      I have been a Foster Mother, worked in Shelter Care Facilities, and worked overseas setting up Foster Care Homes for abandoned Kids. This story was so matter of fact, very little emotion that I wonder if you detached from the whole thing. Anyway, yes our Foster Care System needs a lot of work, but I can tell you from experience that as bad as it is, it's better than the alternatives. I have been on both sides of the fence so I know.

    • profile image

      kathieleeb 8 years ago

      Very touching and well written.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hi Debra: I was very moved by your story and your telling it like it was for you straight out. From what I can see, despite your woundedness by your experiences, you have blossomed into an exceptional human being. May God bless you always and keep you in His sure protection. Robert

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 8 years ago from Montana

      I couldn't read this during Christmas, but am glad I came back later. A very compelling story and voice. Let me know if you write a book...

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA

      Congratulations and welcome to the Giant Squid lensmaster program! Well done!

    • lisasboutique profile image

      lisasboutique 8 years ago

      What a fantastic way to express your life, your feelings and your thoughts. You need to write a book because it will a number one seller. My your days ahead bring you happiness, love, laughter and great memories. Create your life the way you want it to be, live it every single day knowing you are one of the few who can let everyone know its not easy being fostered out to families. Thank you for sharing parts of your life with all of us.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I agree, like the others, that you should seriously consider writing a book. I truly enjoyed your post and would have gone out and bought your book today. Bless you.

    • profile image

      Alex_Ledgister 8 years ago

      Hey Debra,

      This is one of the most insightful and compelling story I have come across. You are an angel. God bless you many times over.

      Alex Ledgister

      http://www.squidoo.com/AlexLedgister

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Amazing account. My husband and I were foster parents to two Vietnamese boys who were boat children, but it was such a different experience. We were techncially legal guardians. Their parents were alive, but still in Vietnam. I remember talking to a social worker who handled cases more like yours, and I explained that if I were in that program, I'd probably be clobbering a lot of other adults with a cast-iron skillet. She smiled sadly and said I wouldn't last too long in her program. Our boys both managed to sponsor their own parents to come to the U.S., but we remain close with one of our sons and recently attended his wedding.

      Blessings on you for sharing this,

      Patty

    • easyforyouebooks profile image

      easyforyouebooks 8 years ago

      I was very touched when I read of your experiences as a little child. I can sympathies with you and understand that you had to close your feelings down to survive the situations you went through.

      I admire you for your spirit as an adult and not let the past spoil your life but raise to an excellent state of mind. Yes, I agree write a book it will help others to understand what it is like for foster children.

    • profile image

      bunny-ll 8 years ago

      As a former foster child, I think it's wonderful that you were able to share your experiences with others. Most people look at us and see a child not worth the bother unless something is in it for them. Bouncing home to home and wondering why nobody wants or loves you is something no child should ever have to go thru. In a perfect world no child would. Thank goodness for the rare foster families that actually have the best interests of the children in their hearts. Laws, rules and regulations need to be changed in order for these children to have the best life all children need and deserve. Sadly, many children, bounce after bounce, year after year become damaged or broken further solidifying the stigma of being a foster child. I agree education is a must, not only for those considering careing for these children but for every one. Knowledge and understanding will only help erase the stigma from their situation. Good luck spreading the word. May the great spirit bless your journey.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      this lens made me cry. I wish foster parents were chosen more carefully. Unfortunately as you say, many do it for the money. It should be a prerequisite that they love children and caseworkers should listen to the children, both their voices, and their body language. I hope you heal from this; writing more might help. May the rest of your life be full of light.

    • profile image

      vyrnlp 8 years ago

      [in reply to pnolan] I have 9 brothers and sisters, we all went through pretty much the same thing. I am very aware of the stuggles I still face today.

      God bless you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Foster care in the 50's for me and my older sister was brought on because of our mother being a depressed and neglectful unable to cope person. Our father was killed while I was being born in 1942. My sister and I went to foster care in 1951. She being the eldest left four years before me. She married and got pregnant. I stayed and the treatment was not too bad just lonely. Couldn't go visit friends or family members. They were allowed to visit maybe once or twice a year. Never for holidays or birthdays. Very lonely. Music was my outlet. I did get fondled by a person that I still to this day have anxiety attacks that cause me to cry for close to an hour and feel so much anger that I could kill. Yes, I know the feelings of I don't care when my mother passed in 1956. I must say though, that through it all I still had hope that I would be able to do something with my life. I am now 66 and a retired Case tech. God is Good and I am thankful. Thanks for your story.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      That was incredibly sad, personal, and beautifully written. It takes a lot to be able to express yourself like that and share it with others who are going through pain. I thought the pictures of you and your sibilings were beautiful. It is true that going through difficult times makes you stronger, but sometimes enough is enough. A person can only go through so much emotional pain. Thank you for your story... Sincerely, Heidi

    • profile image

      laurakennedy 8 years ago

      I am so sorry for your pain and the pain of your siblings. I am sure that remanents of that pain are with you everyday. I was a foster parent for "safe-housed" children and they came to me with such broken bodies and spirits. I know first hand how broken the foster system is and I work everyday to do what I can to inspire the powers to be to make the necessary changes. I wish you the very best! Thank you for being brave enough to share your pain with others so that they are aware of the problems too and perhaps with enough of us, changes will happen to save tomorrow's children.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I see a lot of pain in your writing,but most of all I see hope, You have made something bad, good. Awesome Read, I do not cry very often, but today you succeeded in doing that. I got a lot out of your lens today and your story, keep on pushing through your daily struggles and someday they will reward you and never look back on how your life is so bad, because there are many more people that have it worse. Thank you. God bless you.

    • profile image

      mywhtwlf2 8 years ago

      I am from the other side. My children were in foster care because I had a wreck and couldn't take care of them. As I got better I did what was asked of me. One of my children was adopted. I thought everything was good for her. She wrote me letters at least once a week. The last letter I received I took staight to my lawyer.

      My daughter was telling me things that has happened to another child in the house. I cried and it wasn't even my child.

      When my lawyer and I talked he told me that I would probably never be able to talk to my child again if he did anything about the letter.

      As much as that was killing me...protecting these children and mine was more important then being able to talk to my child.

      I know where my child is now and she is doing great. We do not talk but I do get pictures of her and she is able to see our family.

      I know how children are treated in foster care by what my children had told me. I am so gald they are not in foster care anymore. God bless you

    • profile image

      insguru 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story!

    • profile image

      marvinschult 8 years ago

      Thank for your share. Years ago I meet in Washington State with a quaker man, who talk me about."in one hand life its to hard but in the another hand life its too short".

      We are invite to recovery and healing...(I m like incest survival when I was child)

      "Life is not what it's supposed to be. Its what it is." ...Virginia Satir

      Hugs and best wishes...Mis mejores deseos

      Marvin

      I invite you to join and share in Facebook Group, To Forgive or Not Forgive Healing our first choice....

    • sittonbull profile image

      sittonbull 8 years ago

      You do have a gift of making the words come alive ... you have a credibility born of being there... and the inspiring thing is that like "The Phoenix" which rose from the ashes... you not only survived, but you rose above! Congratulations on finding the strength and courage to raise your own children with a perspective of hope and for writing this lens for those caught in the vise... and left in the wings...5***** and faved.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      thank you so much for sharing your story. i'm writing a story for my english class about a foster child. your story has helped me gain some perspective and helped me to write more realistically.

      thank you :)

    • Sunfish LM profile image

      Sunfish LM 8 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing. You make it real, you make it clear what is happening from the child's point of view. I do plan on fostering children, and maybe even adopt a couple, and this lens offers priceless understanding. I cried through most of it. Thank you for your courage and I wish you the best.

    • profile image

      tamiart2 8 years ago

      I cried through most of your story. I found it heart wrenching, very well written and sad to the depths of my soul. My hope for you is that you have been able to somehow find happiness and love. Humans are tough, animals are easier. Dogs are great...cats, too!

      Much love and peace to you,

      TyAnne

    • Salzano profile image

      Salzano 8 years ago

      Sigh, I have often wondered about foster care. Even though, unlike you, I was raised in a home with two parents, and have no clue about what you went through, I have deep compassion on the meek, the old, the young and those who are downtrodden , abused. I had a friend once who was doing foster care, and I wonder, is foster care the way it is here in the USA the best we can do???

      It almost seems like we would do better with going back to institutions for foster kids not homes with two unknown adults who ARE sometimes only in it for the money they get. I never trust kindness based on pay. I know they did away with the old orphanage homes because of cruel caretakers, but if we could do better at hiring professional people to run them today, would it not be better? Where all the kids would be in the same situation. You would not have some kids Fostered into a home where some the children belong to the adults and others feel cast away. A place where routine was the order of the day?

    • profile image

      Littleironhorse 8 years ago

      I am very happy to have found your writing about your experience. I am so sorry you had to go through so much suffering.

      I was a very troubled kid and teenager. I could have easily ended up in Foster Care, but didn't. It took me many years to come to terms with my own difficulties in my family. I became a Youth Care Worker which I did for almost 17 years. I was a foster parent for two years. Youth Care has been my vocation, but I know I don't have to tell you, the system does not support the kids in care it is self serving. My foster girls and I were on our own, with next to no support. I would never do it again, unless I had a husband, with a strong marriage with the same philosophy and goals to make a difference in a life of a child.

      It has been my experience that those who have been through difficulties like yours, are either broken or rise above and not only survive, they thrive, become strong and have deep compassion for others. Obviously are one that has thrived.

    • profile image

      Littleironhorse 8 years ago

      Debra,

      I can't tell you how happy I am to find your message. Thank you for your wise and kind words. Sometimes when I share the reality with others about what Youth Care, Foster Care and the whole social system is like for those in care and those doing the caring, I can find myself feeling very overwhelmed by the frustration and isolation I feel. But I strive to be positive and keep speaking out to whomever I can especially those in "power" such as politicians. Yes a lot of them really simply pay lip service to you but I don't care I will just keep speaking my own truth until they hear. I talked til the cows came home letting the social workers and my local MLA know what I had been through. I did this to empower myself and in turn hoped some how, some way it might make a difference for a youth in care or those to come and to other foster parents. We live in a society that claims to believe that children are our greatest resource but this again is lip service. I at my word limit

      now!

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 8 years ago from Austin, Texas

      I came back to renew my SquidAngel Blessing. You deserve it. :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Truly a touching story, that has come from the depths of your heart. I do wish you the very best and hope you are having a successful time now. And yes, I hope you have found love, for that is the one truly wonderful feeling that really matters in this world.

    • profile image

      jaycee76 8 years ago

      I have just read your lense. It was very moving, tear jerking and very brave. I myself lost my father when I was 8, one of the most saddest times in my life. My mum met a man, an alcoholic actually, a monster to be exact. He put me through the most horrifying experiences any child would have to go through and I would rather not share that, but, I can really relate to what you've been through. I live in Australia, the welfare system is not all that good, I was put in foster homes that I did not like and ended up being in one where my foster father molested me and I ran away. to cut a long story short I am now 32 and I ended up with a mental illness due to the things that happened to me as a child and I am only now getting the help I should have got earlier in my life.

    • profile image

      flit 8 years ago

      I worked, for many years, with damaged children... many of whom had come from - and would return to - foster care.

      So many heartbreaking stories....and you have spoken for so many of them so well here. Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Your story is compelling and sadly the norm for many people who come from dysfunctional families and wind up in "the system". The foster car system in the U.S. is corrupt and bordering on institutionalized abuse. Most people in our prisons have been in the foster care system.

      I congratulate you on your strength of mind, character and on your personal insistence to rise above your childhood to help others

    • profile image

      Dawn193 8 years ago

      I don't know what you say after reading that. It was so moving and heartbreaking. Thank you for writing it and for sharing, as painful as those memories might have been for you.

    • profile image

      Mountainside-Crochet 8 years ago

      Extremely moving and beautifully told. Thank you so much for sharing. From reading the thoughtful feedback, I have a feeling your story will go on to help many others realize they are not alone and perhaps become stronger for it.

    • profile image

      emt3059 8 years ago

      god bless you speak the truth!![in reply to salzanos]

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      What an emotional lens this was for me. Wow. How horrible. I'm so glad it made you strong, though, and that you're able to express some feelings in writing. I wish the foster care system could be completely changed and only people who truly love children would be able to be foster parents. It's so sad.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I can totally relate. I grew up in the foster care system and aged out at 18.

      Your comments about feeling ungrateful are so true. And folks might think that sounds horrible, but from a child's perspective it is impossible to be grateful when you have very little understanding of your life and are so fearful and confused.

      I am so sorry you experienced the abuse from your foster parents. But, thank you for sharing, because it is SO TRUE. MANY homes are abusive and/or neglectful and the average public is NOT aware. I lived in places that locked me in basements, locked me out of the house in the winter, beat me with electric cords, r*ped me, and in most instances got away with it...

      And thanks for sharing about the good foster parents. They are out there.

      Another way people can help foster kids is to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) which is a volunteer organization. You can help fight for foster kids' rights.

      And buy backpacks and suitcases and donate them.

    • Christene-S profile image

      Christene-S 8 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      I'm glad to have my angel powers back so I can re-bless this wonderful lens.

    • ssuthep profile image

      ssuthep 8 years ago

      Great lens Debra. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

      If you are interested in becoming a Giant 100 Club member this June, then I would like to invite you to join Rajays Rocking Squids for the Giant Squid Challenge. You can learn more about this challenge here - https://hubpages.com/community/rajays-rocking-squi

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I am sorry you had such a terrible experience. Please keep in mind though that there are some foster parents out here that are doing our best to better the system. Many of us adopt children out of the system and give them the stability they want. I am in touch with the children and parents of the children who were reunited with their parents and are very proud of all their accomplishments. I know there are some parents that do foster care for the wrong reasons, but don't judge us by them please. Thank you

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      hello this is a 15 year old teen going into foster care in a few days but was just going some information search and i seen this one and i was wondering if i am going to be treated like that to

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Debra, I have just recently joined Squidoo and happened upon your lens. I was a foster Mom with the state of Florida for five years, from November 1999 until the spring of 2005. I totally understand your story and cried for you, as I did for all of my children. Though we have five children of our own, we adopted one of our preteens, who is now 21. We had two little ones we followed for three years, finally managing to get someone to listen...they are 15 and 16 now and were adopted by wonderful people...they are happy. But so many of our children still struggle as adults. The system is what is it...a system...it really doesn't work as we wish it would. And too many of the children don't have people who care enough to fight for them. Those of us who have, wear out quickly from the raw emotion of what we see. I am so sorry for your lost childhood. In telling your story, you not only help others to understand, but you help yourself by letting the pain out. God Bless you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING MY ADOPTIVE PARENT DON'T.

    • HenryE LM profile image

      HenryE LM 8 years ago

      I'm so sorry for the challenges you've had, truly. One day things will be clear and you will see how God has guided your footsteps to where you are today. What a capacity for good you now have. Best of luck to you!

      Henry

      www.geothermalexperts.net

    • profile image

      BabyHarley 8 years ago

      A sad and poignant lens. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story so that it can help others.

    • Joanna14 profile image

      Christine Hulme 8 years ago from SE Kent, England

      Thanks for this honest lens. God bless you! 5* and may you keep shining as you did in this lens!

    • profile image

      soha89 8 years ago

      lovelyyyy :)

      plz feel free to visit my 1st lens :)

      http://www.squidoo.com/bluespace

    • Davidfstillwagon profile image

      Davidfstillwagon 8 years ago

      A powerful and hearfelt lens! I know it must have been difficult to write about all this! this is definitely a 5 and a favorite.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Fortunately, foster care has changed dramatically since you were a child. I am a single foster dad taking care of a 7 y.o. boy. Everyday is different, some are good days and some are not so good days. Some of what you say still applies today and some doesn't. Stability is probably the most important ideal in today's children. My son knows that I'm going to be right at his class door at the end of the day, that he's going to get a healthy dinner, have some fun, get a good education and a get an hug and kiss at bedtime. Children today know their rights, they are able to talk with their social worker anytime they wish, they can ask to leave at any time, and they can call anyone they wish at any time. You are completely wrong to say that my son doesn't like me or doesn't love me. I'm not a perfect father nor am I a beast, but I do the best that I can.

    • dc64 lm profile image
      Author

      dc64 lm 8 years ago

      (In reply to Jerry from author of this page) When I wrote this, I was trying to write what I felt as a child, from a child's point of view. The section saying "we don't like you" is a bit harsh, I admit, but it was how I felt as a child. If given enough time with the good foster parents, I probably would have grown to love them, but I stayed the longest with "the worst". Your foster son loves you, and you call him your son, which is really touching. You have done the right thing. Children love easily as a rule, but not foster children, so gaining the love of your son means you are one of "the good ones". The system needs more like you. Foster care has changed to some extent, but not drastically. If it had, one would rarely hear of the ongoing abuses by the system (like Gabriel Myers). I'm constantly contacted by foster children who are miserable and are brushed aside by the system. This is not a rant against foster parents, it's 'the system' that needs a drastic overhaul.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Debra, it is amazing to me that I have been working with you for a few months and would never have guessed that your life has been such a journey! I am truly sorry that you had to experience childhood in that manner and I am so proud of you that you were able to overcome your trials, hurt and challenges. It is only natural that considering what you went through has made it tough for you to learn, feel and express emotions. You are most deffinitely a strong person to have overcome the past. I strongly agree on your opinion of the system. Although I have never been involved with foster care I do know others that are and children that are a product of the system and my heart goes out to them. God is in control of all things and even though we as humans may not understand His doings He will take care of us and will punish those who have done such horrible things.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      my mother is dead and my father is not around sometimes but Im living with my grandparents and i go to classes because of what happened when i was litter and began to hear more i told my cancle that i was going to kill myself and i am a 10 year old going on 11 yaer old when i see all the kids with there parents i cry,get mad,or go tell the kids to take care of your parents while you have them imagen gradurating from 8th grade and collage and you dad is not there he is too bizzy being with a women do you know how much that hurts,Im a Christine and if theres anyone out there that is one can you pray for me i need to get saved i need god in my life and m dads my mom is dead and my dad is here and there but i know that God loves me pray my strenth in the lord!! Im not going to stop doing for my dad even if he's not around.

    • profile image

      qlcoach 8 years ago

      This is a really touching, scary, and heartfelt story. Thank you for being so honest and open with your emotions. I was a fostercare worker about 40 years ago. I can relate to this story. Hope you will visit my new lens about emotional healing. Gary Eby, author and therapist.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 8 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Thanks for writing this. I wish I had been able to read it before Sarah and Jason came to us. It helps me to understand more of why Sarah was unable to bond when Jason did bond. Sarah was the oldest. She had suffered more in her birth home than Jason had. She was not as trusting of adults as he was. For us, fostering was for the purpose of waiting for the termination of parental rights so we could adopt. I know that both the children came to us from good previous foster homes. I'm glad you were able to survive the challenges you faced as a child and grow up. I wish our Sarah had done as well.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 8 years ago from Guatemala

      Thank you for sharing this. If you suffered so much during those years, I can only imagine what a child in foster care their entire lives would go through. Impressive and touching lens. 5*

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 8 years ago from Vermont

      Congrats on the purple star ... much deserved!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Because the cry of precious children erupts like fire in my veins

      They deserve more than to be labeled with your stupid names

      Because their pain & torment burn inside my very soul

      I feel the emptiness within & wish to make them whole

      Because not 1 little lamb should be lost from the fold

      I know what it's like to need someone to hold

      Because each child's heartbreaking story needs to be told

      We all need some comfort, this world is so cold

      Because the burden is to heavy for little shoulders to bear

      There are monsters of evil lurking out there

      Because what is a dream unless your willing to share

      Children need to believe that someone still cares

      Because my heart has been broken,now I can feel

      Because I have been wounded I know how to heal

      Because I have been taken I never will steal

      Because I have been lied to I know what is real

      Because I understand the need for a home

      I will not let them wander all alone

      Because my eyes have seen their eyes cry

      I will not sit idly by

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hi Debra, after reviewing your site and blogs I felt compelled to contact you...

      My wife and I are foster/adoptive parents in VT; we recently adopted 5 beautiful girls out of the system(3 are sibblings). I also have a band called 'Sword & Spirit' that has been writing original songs for/about the children in foster care for the past 10years - trying to raise awareness and be a voice for these kids! We recently started a music mentoring program for foster kids & have given away over 100 free guitars & lessons to foster kids from VT to Canada. Our Guitars not Guns music mentoring program is up and running in several states.

      Last year we gave away over 400 copies of our cd 'Eye of The Dreamer' to VT foster kids, families, social workers, and residential care facilities.

      If you would like to hear our music and/or can help us in our cause please checkout our site http://www.swordspirit.net and/or contact me tony@swordspirit.net

    • kateloving profile image

      Kate Loving Shenk 8 years ago from Lancaster PA

      This is an excellent lens. What are your other siblings doing now??

      Thanks for sharing!!

    • drifter0658 lm profile image

      drifter0658 lm 8 years ago

      Thank you for digging deep and not holding back. This is what makes us so real, and you are as real as it gets by sharing this.

      My heart goes out to your strength.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i to have been in that position my brother and i were taken away young and to never been returned to are real mother ,now she is a waste of mind because of the drama but we have no one to blame for the human mind is a fragile tool that can be damaged by the smallest event and can some times never be mended , i still love my mother and my brother na dlive with the night mares of that cold November morning i will forgive the system for there mistake but it will never be forgotten for it had damaged my relation ship with both , i still wish there were different outcomes to it but i just thank the lord above for the chance to be a father that i never hada to my wonderful children . don't let them fool you the system is only there to get rich of of kids so if you have chores for your kids then you have got the right hand of love but if you give in and let them run you and have no responsibility then you have lost a great reward that is to be the best you can be .

    • profile image

      Emma333 8 years ago

      very touching.

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 8 years ago

      Congratulations on your purple star. Very sad story, but with an ending full of hope. 5*s

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      im in foster care im 12 turning 13 its the hardest thing to be torn away from your family and every thing you lose a lot i want nothing more but to go home and to be reunited with my mom,dad brother and sisters your heart feels broken shattered crushed and i still love my famili with the little pieces the times are hard the people are scary and the tears hurt i have no clue what to do all i want is my family it hurts and i would never wish this on anyone pleaz let me go home =)

    • ctavias0ffering1 profile image

      ctavias0ffering1 8 years ago

      Thanks for the lensroll, returning the favour by lensrolling this with my Childhood Abuse lens. I find your experiences very moving. Bestowing an Angel Blessing this time around as well.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      oh my this is such a sad story its awful what the foster people do

      and i feel very sad for every person who goes through all those types of things

      makes me very thankful for what i have in my life

      i am only 13 but i still think very strongly about peoples rights

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i am a foster kid will i ever get out?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      [in reply to lawrence_famous@hotmail.com] Yeah, buddy, you'll get out. I promise. There is hope. Just hang on. Most important is what you CHOOSE after you get out. Your life is YOURS. You do not have to be who you are conditioned or trained to be in foster life. Survive. You can do it. When you age out, it will be hard. Harder than foster life. There are many things you will have to deal with in your life that most foster care systems or families will not prepare you for.

      1) Learn to write a resume. Learn to put on a happy face and work hard at any job you get, no matter how small in the beginning. I have done menial labor, and I have been a successful executive in a worldwide corporation. You can do ANYTHING.

      2) Learn to manage money. Don't spend what you don't have. Ever. Don't get a credit card until you learn this.

      3) This is big...In the real world, NO ONE CARES that you were a foster child. There are NO special privileges. YOU alone are responsible for you.

    • dc64 lm profile image
      Author

      dc64 lm 7 years ago

      [in reply to Michael]

      Thank-you Michael, for responding to Lawrence. As I'm sure you well know, every positive contact, every glimmer of hope, every vote of confidence, can go a long way to a foster child, or any child.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I was touched by this lens, I wish you all the best! Thank you for sharing it! 5*

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I am so happy someone has finally taken the time to write how it is...I know how it is...Like no one cares about you,your silent,and your opinion doesn't matter.

      Anyone who may be in this position,based my experience...Stay strong,independent,and know that you will get threw it one day at a time(Literally).

      Know you are loved,thought of,and it will only make you wiser and understanding person.

      Don't take any abuse from anyone..your better than that!!!

    • profile image

      musicmadman 7 years ago

      I was a foster kid too very nice to share such a lens. I spotted you in the forums.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      thanks for sharing. you have been through an awful lot. It is so sad you were not all placed in one good foster home for all that time. sadly the system does not work.

      We foster. We have a baby at the moment and we love her dearly. we love her like our own. im so sad you and your siblings were not loved like that.

      god bless.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I JUST ALWAYS FEEL SO ALONE WITH NO ONE TO TALK TO I NEVER HAD SUPPORT BUT IM 19 NOW AND IM GOING TO COLLEGE ALL ON MY OWN TO BETTER MY LIFE. ITS HARD BUT I HAVE TO KEEP TRYING, I BEEN IN FOSTER CARE SINCE I WAS 3 AND IT SUCKS TO SEE OTHER FAMILIES HAVE A GOOD TIME WITH THERE REAL FAMILY BUT I PAY THAT NO MIND, IM FOCUSED ON WHATS REALLY IMPORTANT SINCE I DNT HAVE A FAMILY I WILL FOCUSE ON EDUCATION

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      ok i would just like to say that you cant speak for all foster children. saying "we dont like you" is wrong. my family was a foster family and every child that came and went loved my family. they loved us. just because you didnt like your family doesnt mean everyone hates them. and it sounds like u didnt give them a fair shot. and to say "we kno you will never love us" is a load of bull shit as well. we loved every child like they were our own. and we adopted two little boys. u should really take the sourness out of your story cause it makes you look bad and that u didnt give any family a shot. it seems to me like u let the bad things that happened to u made u a mean and sour person. you should really think about the good things in your life and be greatful that u were found and taken out of that horrid home cause many children are found dead because help came to late. be greatful and not so sour and bitter

    • punkin1976 profile image

      punkin1976 7 years ago

      I love this lens. I'm linking to it.

      I work with children and families in crisis, many of the children are in foster care. Like you, many of them need to be there, but unfortunately also like you, many of them are confused, hurt and angry at the loss of control that they had in their lives.

      Thank you for your story. It's an inspiration that you have overcome all that you have dealt with.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      What a story, and so beautifully told! It's tragic the system doesn't work when family is unable to take care of the kids (or in such cases when courts were too narrow to see that a single dad could do a good job of caring for his kids). Children are our future - whatever the circumstances children need to be supported to grow up happy.

    • profile image

      allsurreal 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story! Beautifully told, and I'm glad that you're such a strong person! You give others hope!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      THA MONEY ALL I HEAR ABOUT FOSTER PARENTS IS THE MONEY.WHAT MONEY?THEY GIVE AND ALLOWENCE OF 500. EVERY MONTH THEY ALWAYS WANT SOMETHING OR NEED SOMETHING PLUS THERE ARE TAKEN TO TRIPS INVITED TO ACTIVETIES THEY US THE PHONE ,LIGHT THEY EAT DETERGENT PERSONAL USE AND SO ON THIS MONEY IS WASTED IN A SHOT ON THEM THERES NO MONEY IN DOING THIS U REALLY HAVE TO LOVE CHILDREN BECOUSE IF IT FOR MONEY I REALLY DONOT KNOW WERE IT IS 17.90 OR 19.90 FOR DAY AND NIGHT COME ON AND U GET THIS ALLOWENCE EVERY MONTH FOSTER PARENTS SHOULD BE PAID FOR THIS BECAUSE IF THIS WOULD BE A JOD IT WOULD BE ONE OF THE HIGHEST PAY IN THE WORLD .THIS I WAS THINKING OF DOING BUT I RATHER DO DAY CARE I GET PAY TO DO LESS AND I GET TAXES AS WELL BEST WISHES FOR ALL THE WONDERFUL WOMEN THAT DO FOSTER CARE SO TIMES ALL THE SACRAFIES IS--- WORTH IT BUT SOME OF THE TIMES IT COULD BE. TO ALL THE WORKERS OUT THERE DO UR JODS AND DOCTORS CHECK AND MONITORE THIS CHILDREN HEALTH AND THERE WILL BE LESS CHILDREN MISSTREATE

    • Brookelorren LM profile image

      Brookelorren LM 7 years ago

      Excellent lens, but it did leave me with questions that were only answered by reading the comments. Such as, do you hate all foster parents, even the ones that love kids? Do you hate the Hayes? Do you think that nobody should volunteer to be foster parents? Those questions seemed to be answered by reading the comments, but I didn't find the answers in the lens itself

      I'm sorry that you had such a bad experience. I personally don't think that there's any such thing as a throwaway person, and that everybody deserves to be loved... especially children. I have heard news stories about horrible foster families, and would hope that they would be the exception rather than the rule. :-(

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I am not a foster child but I am a foster parent of the most precious little girl that God created. I love her to bits she is every breath I take, every step I walk, every move I make she is my everything. I dont understand how anybody could hurt or throw away a child no matter what your problem. Please remember the child did not ask to be there you broght them into the world. I have had this little girl for two years and only now does her mother want to show interest in her after she had thrown her away, broken her rib and collar bone. I am determind I will not just let her go I will fight for her. What makes it worst is that the social workers that work with her mother says the child should be put in another foster home closer to her mother. My question is WHY. She had a horrible two years of her life she now has a home with people who love her. She attends school and all her needs are met. I LOVE HER

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Your story touched me, and I want to thank you for writing it down. It must have been terrible, and I can only imagine what it must have been like for you.

      I admire your strength for both getting through that and for beiing able to write it down for the rest of the world to see,

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I really like this story and would like to use it on my website. I think this would really help people understand what foster care really is.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 7 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I'm so glad you were able to go live in your father's home, and that the five of you stayed together. I lensrolled this to my newest lens, Drugging Foster Children. (Blessed)

    • profile image

      inkserotica 7 years ago

      Very sad and inspiring story! 5* You are loved and blessed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Never give up Travis. Put it all behind you and do anything, to get your education. If you need to use Social Services...use them. Don't be left behind ever again. You can do anything you want and you are doing it. Congratulations for finding the strength and to realize that you are in charge of you, and only you can make it happen. Sounds like you know what to do. Thats great Travis.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very sad story. Some children do not go into foster homes but have the same stories in their natural families. They pray to be taken away from them too. I think its great you have this blog. It may help kids that are suffering in foster homes and feel that they are forgotten. They are not forgotten by many people. I know that the system is not working well in canada or the U.S. The vulnerable children need to be heard. Most people do not know what goes on out there for children stuck in the system. Any kids that are reading this, I know that I probably speak for many people. Get your education whatever it takes so you are ready when you leave the system at 18. Hang in there and there are people that care. You are not alone.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Hi! I kept thing about this beautifully written story and wanted to visit again.

      It must have taken a lot to write this from your heart and share it with us.

      An angel blessing here is well deserved...because you have touched hearts.

      I hope that your days are gentle and filled with love.

      Susie

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      wow reading what life as a foster child ment to you was like you writing about me ...how i felt and what it really ment to be a foster child ...thank you so much for writing this piece ...

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 7 years ago

      Just dropping by. Blessed by an Angel.

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 7 years ago

      I was in foster care only a brief period (less than a year). It was a negative experience, and I definitely have some criticisms of how a lot of things were handled, but I do know there are a lot of devoted foster families out there. I have friends who took in foster children and later adopted them. [in reply to musicmadman]

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. It made me cry. I am an actress researching for a play I am doing in London and your story is invaluable to me. I can't believe you have gone through all that and come out such a sane and strong person. I am very grateful for getting the opportunity to read this. Thanks once again

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Gosh, I just read your story. I am touched by your sincere emotions. I am so sad that you were raised in the manner that you were raised. I worked for the agency that employs social workers. All the workers I met were sincere in their efforts to help children. Try not to continue to hold it against all the social workers. Not all are alike. Blame the system. It's ok. However, blame, too, the ignorant people who sign up as foster parents. Time does heal wounds. Yours are healing, and I thank God for it. Also, not all people are bad or thoughtless. Remember too, that Love exists only when God's hand over a person. Turn to the Lord, pray for his love and you will feel his life over you. I say that your experience has made you a strong person. I noticed that you said you couldn't remember why you were in the hospital, that your mind blocked it. I can say with confidence that the Lord deleted it to help you. He loves you very much--he's never forsaken you, never will.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I remember what I hope to forget. I am the victim that doesn't want anyone to know what happened. I am the stigma of society that enabled what was done to me. I am successful because I promised myself I would rise above the mayhem. I am still lost....many years have past and I have not forgotten the wounds of foster care. Please let it stop. Only true love can heal the hurt. Only education regarding parenting. Thank God I never had children nor did my 3 brothers who aso endured foster care. We are the wounded, hiding our wounds, and hoping for a better life for other children.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing, after spending my entire youth in care I can relate to much of what you shared. I share my story on wordpress @ Reflection of a Foster Child.

      Peace!

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 7 years ago

      Came back to say - Congratulations on being nominated for the 2009 Giant Squid Awards.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 7 years ago

      This is a painful story, I like what the person before me, pamary6014 shared, and echo those sentiments. I want to congratulate you on the 2009 Giant Squid Award nomination in your category:-) Have a blessed Christmas ~claudia

    • rubyandmahoney profile image

      rubyandmahoney 7 years ago

      This is a sad, but touching story. Thank you for sharing your experience. I have been wanting to start the process of becoming a foster parent, but just haven't "gotten around to it" yet. After reading your story, I am going to start working on that today. There are so many children out there that deserve love and support.

    • profile image

      Cindy_Egan 7 years ago

      Very very sad story! It is full with sincerity and sadness that i feel sad too... I am really sorry you had to go through all this! God bless you

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i read this and i know how it is... im in foster care and its really bad. but you and your four siblings thats even worse.. because you had got beat. that isnt what happens now days.. but i DO KNOW HOW YOU FEEL.... I AM SO SORRY... BY THE WAY HOW LONG AGO WAS THIS TAKEN.. BECAUSE IM JUST WONDERING... I AM SORRY FOR WHAT YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH.......... MaRiah

    • profile image

      Babitah 7 years ago

      Wonderful - thanks for sharing this with us all. FABULOUS!!! I appreciate this lens so much!!! 5*

    • profile image

      jgelien 7 years ago

      Your story broke my heart. This is a very powerful lens. I applaud you for sharing your experiences and shedding light on the terrible flaws in our foster care system.

    • profile image

      snowboarder13 7 years ago

      foster care story

      So, I was living on the street again. I had run away for one reason and one reason only; Dave.

      I had went against Dave and come home from skateboarding late. After being hit until my skin was raw with welts, I watched Dave turn the belt around in his hands. He started hitting me again, this time with the metal buckle end.

      Again and again I screamed, "Donât! Donât! I'm sorry I came home late! Please, Dave, donât!"

      As I kept screaming, Dave kept hitting me. That night was the only time Anne said anything in my defense. She came to the doorway, a drink in her hand, "honey your hurting him," she said.

      I ran away that night, packed my backpack and jumped out my window.

      I was sitting in the park now when I realized something... More haunting than the darkness that surrounded me was the realization that I was alone, totally alone with myself. And it scared me.

      The next day I went to school early so I could talk to one of my teachers. We sat in his classroom talking and this was how it began.

      "What were your real parents like?"

      "I didnât have a dad. Well he didnât live with me. I had a step dad though. I remember in first grade I went out for soccer. I had to beg Mom and Mike to come watch me. It was like they were ashamed of me. They finally came after I got mad enough. And then we lost. You'd have thought I was the only one on the team the way Mike acted."

      We talked about other things, then the bell rang.

      " I was sitting in first period when James Morone tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, " Get in a fight with your Daddy last night, Jere?"

      I jumped up, knocked my desk over, picked James up by his shirt and through him against the wall. He got up and we started fighting. Fists flying, and every punch James landed had no effect on me. Mrs. Layne called the principal who came with the security guard on duty. The security guard pulled me away, dragging me all the way to the office. The teacher I talked to that morning, Mr. Scott was there and followed us into Mr. Fields office.

      "Learn your place or you'll have a rough time here!" The officer stated as he walked out shaking his head.

      "What were you thinking Jeremy? Did our talk mean nothing?" Mr. Scott asked.

      "I wasnât thinking. I just... I need out."

      "A lot of people have already paid dearly for your anger and lies. You have bigger problems than getting out of this place. And why donât you tell Mr. Fields why you have those marks, tell him what you told me."

      "Nothing happened!" I yelled looking away.

      They both stepped outside the door, but I could still hear them.

      "His foster dad beat him last night. We talked about it this morning before the first bell.."

      Tears came to my eyes. I though I could trust Mr. Scott!

      "I donât know how life gets so mixed up. Some kids become our most successful citizens, while others crowd our prisons. Whatâs the difference? Jeremy has will and courage, but also a lot of anger. So what do we do with him? Seriously, I donât know how to heal emotional and physical damage, scars run deep..." Mr. Fields said softly.

      They both walked back in. I stood up but Mr. Scott pushed me back down, putting his hand on my chest where one of the welts was. I winced.

      "I'm leaving, just let me leave!"

      "Jeremy, we're giving you another chance. So..."

      "I donât want another chance!" I screamed and ran out.

      Mr. Scott ran after me yelling, "Go ahead and try it. Try manipulating a storm or lying to your hunger! Try cheating the cold! Let us help you. You donât have to live on the streets. JEREMY!"

      So here I am now, up in a tree in Zeigler Park. Total darkness surrounds me as I try to find a comfortable position to sleep in. I cant because of the welts across my chest, back and arms. Another sleepless night I guess...

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      I don't think I've ever spent so much time reading a webpage. Thank you for sharing so much about yourself and for letting your life as a foster child motivate you to help others. 5*/fav/roll to begin-again and free-bereavement-verses. You are wonderfully amazing, Debra.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you.

    • dc64 lm profile image
      Author

      dc64 lm 7 years ago

      I've been in contact with this young man since the posting of his comment, and he is with a new family. He will soon age out of the system, and he says he hasn't seen his caseworker in ages. He is working and saving up every penny for when he turns 18, but if the family he is currently with will not allow him to stay there, he will be out on the streets.

      How sad...

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 7 years ago from Quezon City

      Your story is heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing your experience with everyone, it must have been difficult to write but I admire you for having the courage in doing so anyway so that others may benefit from your sharing. *Blessed by an angel*

    • profile image

      alexhardy 7 years ago

      hello, i know this wont mean much but i know almost exactly how you fealt, simply because my story is similar, only i only have two siblings and come herroine addicts and that my journey started at age 9 and ended last year wen i was adopted at 17, so i was online searching for stories that sounded similar to mine and yours is the closest ive found so far so if you can give me some insight or advice on what the future holds, that would be great, my name is alex and please reply to hardylvthmsc@aol.com thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @snowboarder13: Hi there!

      Was this "Dave" ever brought up on charges for abusing you? How long ago did this happen? My heart goes out to you, and all foster kids. I had a foster daughter for several months. She has been through so much. She is now in a residential facility. If her caseworker would have gotten her help a long time ago, things would be better for her. tothestarsnow@yahoo.com

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i really can't believe how a lot of kids have to go through. i admire you for surviving to all this and for being so brave. this definetaly changes everyones mind.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      How little do people know that often foster care is not what it seems. Children often removed from abusive situations fall into even worse ones. As a volunteer who advocates for childern still discover each and everyday the horror chidren experience at the hands of state run foster care. I have a nephew who was emotially neglected by his own parents, and given to foster care at the age of 7 and today still struggles with the abuse, pain and neglect not only from the biological parents,the step parent, and the foster family. Sadly this person is 30, forced to live in state care for a situation they failed to address and follow to ensure the child was safe and in a loving and stable environment.

      10 years this child was left in this abusive situation- afraid to tell from fear of threats and more abuse from the family or other families. How can they easily learn to trust in others when they have been let down.

      Children love unconditionally and why adults with sick twisted minds have to inflict pain and suffering on innocent children is beyond my perception. States should be made to pay for negelience as well as those who perpetrated the criminal actions and the parents for negelecting to take responsibility for their off spring.

    • almawad profile image

      almawad 7 years ago

      You were all lovely kids . Hope that you had some nice memories as well from your childhood ..

      Thinking of you often ,,, since last year when I read your story for the first time

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      hi a am a foster kid and to this day i still am and athe things that this story said his me really bad because it is all truew and that is what it the bad thing.. so many people dont know what me go throught but if you read this you will.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      when i read this tears come to my eyes because i have gone through all tthe same. it is really nice to know that i am not the only one out there you know. it is not our falt that this happened.. man i just want to grow up to live on my own you know because i am tired of people telling me what to do and how to live my live. ever time i move i have to live by there rules i have to a just to the way they live i have to start all over again. all my friend no more. it is all different. we get moved a way from our family because we need to and we thank you but we could live with other family members but no.. we do everthing you want us too and i dont think that is write. we are like little dogs we sit were you say and we do what you say is best.. but haver you ever stopped and said what does he or she want to do or think about this.. no some do but some don't. and the ones that do god bless you.. this is a foster kid i go to highland high school in CA, Bakersfield. my name is BRIAN STEPHENS AND O KNOW HOW IT IS..

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is sad. I want all of you to know that I believe in all of you. You can make things happen. sometimes you have to forgive to be free. purge yourself with your tears. I dont want you to like me or even love me. I want you all to make it, to be a sucess. I have 4 foster childern, 2 two 17 one 16 and one 2 years old, and believe the money aint that great. but every dime I put into my kids. I am adopting the 3 boys (they are the oldest. the girl is 2) If i could I would save all of you from this horrible system. Just know this no matter what no matter who, knock down the barriers that stand in the way. You will make it through. I am praying for you all. And that might not seem like much but pray is the answer.

    • profile image

      snowboarder13 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thats the probelm. This just happened a couple of years ago. Things like this happen everyday. My story, others stories, they have so many things in common and yet they dont. WE need to make this stop for every foster child.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is sad ,

      when i read this tears came to my eyes

      verry sad story ,

      i will try to help how ever i can..

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I grew up in foster care too. It's a very difficult life to say the least. I had not only suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a family member, after going into foster care, I was molested by a foster parent. I have had to deal with these issues and I'm doing pretty good. If it hadn't been for just a few people along the way, I'm not sure what would have happened.

    • journey103 profile image

      journey103 7 years ago from USA

      Your story was very moving and breaks my heart because I was never able to have children of my own and it sickens me to hear of a parentless child taken in for monetary reasons or as live in help. God sees all and strengthens us through adversity. Bless you!

    • Airinka profile image

      Airinka 7 years ago

      It made me to cry :(.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is horrible. I don't understand how people can hit innocent children. Even adults abusing their spouses. I'm only 13 and my dad left my brother, my mom, our two dogs and I with no money. And now my mom is threatening to send me into foster care. I have family I can go to but my mom most likely will still send me to foster care. Also, my brother can't do much about it either. My brother is 19 soon to be 20. Well anyways, abuse and moving around a lot can be so hard on a lot of people and it shouldn't have to happen to anyone. I'm very sorry to what you had to go through. I am glad you made it through this awful system.

    • profile image

      Ecomum 7 years ago

      It had to be very difficult time for you. I'm feel sorry for you.

    • sleepless25 profile image

      sleepless25 7 years ago

      This is really beautiful. Despite the hardships and things you've been through your a very strong and independent woman. I could only imagine from reading things like this and/or movies to see what it is people go through when placed in these situations. I have seen it in others eyes (young people) when they are going through things and its heartbreaking to not be able to help as often as one would like. Anyhow...just leaving a lil love

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Blessings to you for being strong enough to lay your pain bare in front of the world in an effort to help others understand the plight of children in "the system". I will tweet and post to Facebook. I wish every potential foster care parent in the world could read your story. 5*

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My mom is a social worker and she comes home like every day and is in tears because she has to take kids from there home. I would love to follow in her steps but I dont want to come to my family upset and stressed, that will make them stressed.I just don't understand how people can hit innocent children. I would love to have them fell the pain that hte kides do...... and i am so very sorry about this

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 7 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      Greetings! You have a lovely lens and it has been blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      ifell S0 Bd But This Is Happinq T0 Mi Familiy Ihate The Fact Pe0ple Cab Take Other Pe0ples Children Away Fr0m Them.Ihate It And The Pe0ple D0inq IT Sh0uld Fell Bad.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @Airinka: iN0 Mi Br0 Is In Tears.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      when i read this tears come to my eyes simply because i have gone through all tthe same. it's truly nice to know that i am not the only one available you know. it is not our falt that this happened.. man i just wish to grow up to reside on my own you know because i am tired of individuals telling me what to do and how to live my reside. ever time i move i have to reside by there rules i have to a just to the way they reside i have to begin all over again. all my friend no a lot more. it's all different. we get moved a way from our loved ones because we require to and we thank you but we could live with other loved ones members but no.. we do everthing you want us too and i dont believe that's write. we are like little dogs we sit were you say and we do what you say is greatest.. but haver you ever stopped and said what does he or she want to accomplish or think about this

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i just read this all and it is amazing for you to post your life story and how it was to live in a foster home. I live in a foster home atm, because my mother and father kicked me out and told me never to come back when i 10. now i have my own house and have a happy family, but to see and feel of what happened to me, i feel the pain of this child

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Ive been in foster care since i was one and a half years old. This story gave me much hope. Right now im 16. Every year is worse than the last. I also have a story, different, but it still relates so much to yours. This story opened my eyes. THANK YOU.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I was adopted when i was 6 years old. I'm very thankful i don't remember much of my past life. And,I was very lucky to be adopted at all. Sometimes I take that for granit. I'm only 15 now adn I am already trying to help other children in foster care like for example my beloved friend named Kari. She was sexualy abused when she was younger and just seems to have all life sucked out of her. Wanting to think nothings her fault, but still comming to tears everyday. I used to think she was just so annoying cause she'd tell me lies constiently now i realize she wasn't really meaning to lie. It was her way of saying I need a friend. I'm lonely. NO body cares so please pay attention to me. NOw shes being transffered from a foster home to a group home. I wish I would have figured it out soon and took action in helping her. Istead I chose to let it slip by. Now she's thinking suicidal. Anyone have any good advice That will help me help her? If so plz contact me @ dandrakay@gmail.com. Thanks so much everyone god bless you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @Airinka: Hi Debbie

      Thank you for sharing your story. I think it is great you have written it down. I think it can help if read by people in such a situation.

      I wish you all the Best.

      PS: How I found you? Googled images for "I remember" and saw the angel carried by the boys. "I remember" is a song you might enjoy

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Xo8At6XEqE&amp...

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      my mum is doing this whole fostering thing at the moment and soon well have a little girl in the house, i've been an only child all my life though my father has had other children but lucky enough i'm almost 18 so not prone to jealousy, before we get this little girl i wanted to know what life may have been like for her and any way i could make her time with us a good one so thank you so much for sharing your experience

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I am 17 and i am currently in foster care, i have been through a lot i am about to age out and the lady that i am with she is the best. This lady has helped me come a long way i went to her house in June 2009 and i have only been in two foster homes and this is a really sad it made me cry i have not been hit but i have felt like you have felt because the first foster home i was in i was suppose to go home and i never did and now i will be 18 in Nov, and it hurt when i found out that i will not be home or out of foster care until i turn 18 i have been in foster care for 3 years i was in a group home before then, but i am not a troubled child my mama just has a lot of stuff going on she has mental problems that DSS does not agree with but this made me cry to realize that i have it made and some people out here thats in foster care or has been in foster care has been through a lot and has been abused while in foster care...But thankyou you have really made me realize that I will be okay i only have 6mths left...SORRY to here this..

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I am 17 and in foster care, beeen here for a long time now. And this story made me cry, because my life has been the same. Sometimes for my agency i do presentations to potential foster carers, to tell them from a childs perspective how it really feels to be in foster care, and what the child expects.. Who ever wrote this you're an inpriation to all children in care :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Ya I grew up Hating social workers because of the stuff they did to me and I was in the system for a bout 6 years and im tellign you it was the worst years of my life the system is so corrupt there is so much yr mom didnt tell you most of the foster Parents are jsut in it for the paycheck. I got abused sexually in care and they did nothign about it and my life was real screwed up but i would have been better off with my dad the only reason i was sent there was ... My stepmom hated me and my dad was sick so he chosse her over me but he finally came and got me when a kid in a group home shwoed me his private part and a girl threw a alarmclock at my head. my life was very traumatic and painfull to this day i cant get over the stuff i seen there, I miss my father he is in Heaven now. I grew up being emotionally messed up and my son got taken from me but i finally woke up and I am doing all the right things now and I am going to have another baby I do not want this child to see the things i seen and I am going to parenti ng classes and I am almost done school so I will never let thios happen to my family again ,Thanks for understanding my grief but I am moving on One day at a time Angie...

    • profile image

      AngieCrouter 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Ya I hear ya I now what its like to be abused by family.. I went threw the same thing and I got threw it thow . For all the stuff I have seen and been threw uit makes me a stronger person today Bless yr heart for coming forward and talking about it Mesage me if u want to chat anytime Angela C

    • profile image

      AngieCrouter 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you I really appreciate that there are soem good foster parents out there we need more like you Angie

    • profile image

      AngieCrouter 7 years ago

      @snowboarder13: yes we do need to make this stop happening to children like us who don't no Who to turn to in situations where it feals liek there is no hope left for us. Who do we go to and talk to there is'nt many ppl in the world you can trust nowadays. I was beat in the system to so i no what you wnet threw and i felt the same way you did I have lived on the streets to its horrible out there. Are you safe now How old r u??

      I hope you are safe and in a better situation bless yr heart for sharing your fealings Angela Email me if you want babymomma@gmx.com

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Your story was riveting, but difficult in some ways to read. It brought tears to my eyes. Fortunately I was not a foster child, my mother did a great job with my me and my two sisters as we grew up for the most part without a dad. I remember growing up not really knowing how to smile. As a teenager I had a cousin who asked me to smile for her because she had never seen me smile.

      Like you, I was an observer in life, not a participant. Fortunately, like you that has changed for me. Like you I am very optimistic and hopeful of the future. Much of that can be attributed to my faith in God. Now, like you, I smile a lot more easily also.

      Your story is very inspirational, but like you said, it is unlikely that this will change foster care. However, don't give up on your efforts. It's amazing what one person can do.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I am a foster mom in Surrey BC Canada. I have been fostering for 13 years and have three of my own children who are older teens now. I have taken children from ages 0 to 8. My husband and I have loved each one of these kids as much as our own. When they leave my home they take a piece of us with them. Somehow we still have more left to give. I have a little 2 year old girl that we have had since birth that the social worker is going to return to her dad. I don't know what the future holds for her but she takes the biggest chunk of all. I'm her mommy....I will love her forever.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      you are truely an insiration. what you have said about your feeling as a child are so true. all children should have the right to a loving, safe and secure home to grow up in, to a family they can feel are theirs and is safe.

      carers need more training in to how a traumetized childs brain develops. they need more training in how to respond to this.

      caseworkers need more training in this area and also in how to recognize and respond to these issues. one way that definately isnt working is moving children from one placement to another, constanly changing the people they are suppose to trust around them. constantly breaking attachments children need to form in their childhood to develop.

      I am a foster agency case worker and see first hand the instability and the compounding of issues in not providing stability, understanding, consistency and love to children that have already lost this.

      we have some great carers working with us that are more than willing to offer children long term loving families but unfortunately the child protection system in Australia make this really hard. they put the child and the carer through an emotional and insecure ride for sometimes years before they make a decision and committment to the child future. I am a strong believer that if children can be raised in their families safely they should, but l am just as strong in the opinion that a parent shouldnt be given chance after chance to have their children in their care if they cannot prove a committment to the childs wellbeing and safety first.

      I believe 12mths out of a childs life is long enough for a child to have to live with uncertainty about their future. their parents should be given as many supports as needed in this 12mths and if they are still unable to show a committment to the chids wellbeing then the child should be given the opportunity to have a long term home,education, love and stability that all children need and deserve. we cant keep giving parents the rights at the expense of a child need for consistency, stability and attachment.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank YOU. for sharing your story. I have tears in my eyes and am hugging the little girl you were. I want so badly to be foster mom. I don't have enough room yet to do it, but when I do, I will. I want to teach children that they MATTER. That they are inherently good. That they DESERVE love. I am so proud of you for surviving all of this and then sharing it with others. You are a healer and a credit to humanity.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Kelly-Anne, keep up the good work. You are an inspiration too. Keep sharing your story with others. Your voice matters. Keep talking. Keep sharing. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Wow, I learned alot from your short story. My Mother has taken care of foster kids for the past twenty years. Let me tell you the other side to the story. My mother had decided to taken in foster kids when I was 9. Due to the fact her mother was a foster kid growing up. I still remember the first kid that came to our house. His name was lets call him "James". He was a bit older at age 12. The social workers had told us about how he was abused by his parents and how he had been to a few different homes. So he ended up with us, a single mom and only child. At first things where great and he was alot of fun. I looked up to him like a older brother. We hung out and went places to gather he made friends in school and Mom had tried to give him a truly loving home. After about 6 months of being there one night "James" asked if I wanted to try something with him. I wont go into detail, but it ended up being something two boys should not have done together. I was embarrassed and never told Mom about it. Maybe it was stupid on my end for not speaking up. After about a year of "James" being at our home. Things had gotten worse, he had found some of his family members living a few streets over. First Mom was very happy for him and let him go and hang out and be social with them. She thought it was great he had family to be in contact with. Shortly after that things started going very south. He was not listening, started causing alot of fights in the house and thought he could do what he wanted. The social workers had come over and tried to work with him. They could see it was going no where. So they suggested having him removed from the home. Shortly after that we has back at a childrenâs home. Mom was sad and angry about it at the same time. She had always asked the social workers how he was doing. Last thing I remember and it was strange. Think thatâs why I remember it so well. He was caught hovering over another kid trying to do something with him.

      After a year the social workers said they had found another kid that they felt would be perfect. He was only a year older then I and was still at the childrenâs home. So we went to meet him for a day and take him out for fun. We ended up going to a place amusement park for a day of fun. Just to see if he was ok being around us and us feeling the same about him. The next day the social worker called and said he really enjoyed our time and wanted to come stay with us. We had gotten excited and so with us he came to stay. After only a few weeks of being there he started going crazy. I first bad thing I remember for no reason at all. He was taking bricks and smashing them in the driveway. Mom went out there and yelled about it and told him to get inside. He started screaming back "chill baby, chill!" As time went on, it got more and more strange. One week when Mom was not feeling good she was laying down and asked him to bring her a cup of water. He had came back in the room with a knife and started twisting it and whirling it around her. She yelled for him to get the knife back in the kitchen and never to do that again. I ran out of the room to see what was going on and she said nothing and donât worry about it. A few nights later she was sleeping and woke up and the sheets where over her head and felt them slowly coming down. Soon as she saw it was him, she jumped up again and yelled for him to get to his room. One of the last things I remember about him. We were on the way to my auntâs house and a slight argument broke out between him and her over the way he had been talking back. I remember this part clear as day he said back "When you get older, I am going to find you and beat you with your own cane!" I remember being a little scared and angry about that. It was not long after that he was sent back as well. Things had gotten pretty bad with no signs of getting better. Later on the social worker had apologized and said the childrenâs home was not being honest about him and they say in his record he had the profile of a serial killer. Maybe it had something to do with him watching his Mom try to kill his dad with the car?

      At this point I was more nervous and worried about seeing another foster then I was thrilled. After only three months they called and said they had a younger kid around seven and had a few problems but nothing like the last kid. So the same thing went on, we took him out for a day and wanted to see if he liked us and we liked him. He was only going to be with us a short time since his Mom was working on getting him back. He came to our home. He was a fun kid, looked alot like the kid from Dennis then menace. He had a super hyper personality. To the point he needed medication. The social worker even said the one day, she was ready to rip up her license and put that kid over her knee and spank him. However, once they got him on medication he was much better. He was not so bad. After six months he was back with his Mom which was good to see. She would call us up time to time and ask about him. First she was upset he was on medication for his behavior. She even flushed his meds down the toilet! It was only but a month later she called up Mom and started asking questions about the medication and finally noticed he needed something.

      So letâs fast forward a few years. We had not had a child for a while. I was now 16 and working. One day at work I noticed these kids out in the parking lot of where I was. Then I saw Mom, she was holding a young kid and said we have visitors for a few months until the parents get everything straighten out. She was very hesitant about taking in four kids, but the social worker said if we don't take them now. They would all be split up into different homes and that this would only be temporary stay. She agreed and so they came to live with us. Three months turned into a year. The courts could not come into agreement with the parents. The husband was abusive to the wife. They told the wife the county will provide you with a house and a job, but the husband was not allowed to live there with the wife and kids. He could only have visitation rights. She turned the offer down and said she would never leave her husband. Mom even tried to help her by buying her clothes for interviews and aiding her money when she needed it. Well in the end she handed over custody to the system. Then they moved out of state with her husband. Over the years you can easily see the parents in the kids. One has had a major issue with authority; the other will see what is only in it for him and if nothing is in it for him. Then forget it! The other one has started acting like the serial killer. The one who we all thought was going to be a problem has turned out to be the most stable. The one kid and I had never really gotten along. Mom had always said to rise above it and be the better person. The last couple times I tried that turned into he rammed a huge stick into my leg and I was limping for over a week. Then, just a few days ago, him and I got into a huge argument. He got out of control and I was punched me in the temple 13 times. The whole side of my face is now swollen and I am honestly at the breaking point with foster kids.

      You may live by âdon't expect us to love you or to be nice to you.â But let me point out it was not our fault for what happen to you! It is by your choice alone, that you feel this hate for parents. I had tried to be on board with my Mom on this. But short of hearing someone say they are going to kill your Mom, pull a knife or be punched like I was. All I can say is the feeling is now mutual. Don't expect us to be nice just because of your sob story! We all have problems. If you don't choose to deal with it and "hide" that is your choice not ours. You are no benefit to us taking you in! Most of us had done this because we wanted to help you. If anything you should feel happy someone else has decided to give you love and a home. After all it was your parents that are the problem, not us! The sooner you learn the world is not perfect and to give people a

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      im a child in need of help my dad gets drunk and hit me i feel to the floor and hit a glass table and cut my arm i would love if someone could help me because my mom acts like she doesnt care i feel like im in this world alone and it scares me to wake up everyday knowing that my mom and my dad doesnt care for me unless they have someone telling them that they should im scared if someone is reading this and can help me you can text this number and i will call 716 218 6181 thank you.....

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: my mom amd dad both dont care about me so i would be so glad to live in the foster home you have because ity seems like those people u r with really care......sorry im having a moment i cant even finish what i was about to say...

    • dc64 lm profile image
      Author

      dc64 lm 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Anon

      Of course I will post your story. You have a voice that I would not take away. I also know that many foster kids have deep psychological problems and disorders. What these kids need is extensive therapy. It is unfair to the foster parents who really care about children to be expected to 'fix' these mental issues and disorders. Those kids who have been diagnosed as 'deeply troubled' should not be put in the care of those without the resources to help these kids.The foster care system today, is raising an army of thieves and murderers, and their answer is just to drug them up until they 'age out', and then they are someone else's problem. What these kids need is on-going intervention.

      It sounds like the state agency is taking advantage of your mother's kindness. It seems they send all the problem kids to her, because she will take them in. They are using her, and breaking you both down in the process. She sounds wonderful, but she should put her foot down and say, "No more problem kids!" There are some good kids out there who would blossom in such a home.

      I suppose you could say this story represents the kids who think like me. The quiet wallflowers...those who just wanted to feel safe. I can't speak for the sociopaths.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My husband and I were foster parents. We had siblings (2 boys) that we fell in love with. They had sisters that they were not allowed to be placed with but were allowed to visit. We were changed by these guys. We wanted to keep them forever and took the additional training necessary to become adoptive parents. The state told us they were going home (we were happy for them but sad, too) so we asked for two other boys that were legally available for adoption. After the second set of brothers moved in, we were told that we could adopt the first two if we wanted - if we wanted! How silly. Of course, we wanted. They were ours from the moment we first met them. Suddenly, we went from just the two of us to just the six of us. We've had our ups and downs just like a "normal" family but I would not trade a second of life with them for anything in the world.

      It makes me sad that people expect children to be grateful for love. My children are loved whether they are grateful for it or not and I would never dream of telling them that they should be grateful for love. Grateful for an ice cream cone, yes. Grateful for love, no.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: who is this?has someone helped this child??? very strange. tylah if you can call, just call 911 and they will send someone out to investigate and get you out of there.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: tylah im going to call you ok what state do you live in i need to know if you have gotten hel yet or not if you didnt then i need to know immedtiatly i ca help you please respond

    • mich1908 profile image

      mich1908 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this personal part of your life with us. I felt sad that you and your siblings have to go through so much pain..I just wonder whether you have finally found peace and stability with your dad and step-mother by now? Wish you all the best.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you :) Who is the lady who wrote this story, is she American? I live in the UK :)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Oh, what a sad story. It makes me feel ashamed because children are hurting and I don't see it or know it. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust and also on Child Abuse

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What is really sad is that your story, as heartwrenching as it is, isn't the worst out there. But how anyone could treat a child in the way you were, or worce, is beyond me.

      I hope one day to foster children. I still have to talk this over with my husband, and I want to wait until our own daughter is older, and can understand what is going on, before fostering.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Hey Brian:

      I know first hand how difficult it is, I was a foster child all my life. I can only say that you can't let your situation rule the rest of your life. Take the good, and throw the bad to the curb. It is Hard but please know that it will get better, what do you want your life to go? Make a plan and go for it (if it is positive). There is always a way and people who will help you if you help yourself. Be strong and follow the right path. There will be obstacles in your way at times, but I really believe you can do it. Best of luck

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: PLEASE DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO GET LEGAL CUSTODY OF HER. RETURNING HER TO HER "BIRTH MOTHER" IS JUST A WAY FOR SOCIAL WORKERS TO LESSON THE LOAD. I WISH SOMEONE WOULD HAVE FOUGHT FOR ME, I WAS A FOSTER CHILD ALL MY CHILDHOOD AND I CAN SEE HOW YOU LOVE THIS CHILD. THERE IS NO REPLACMENT FOR THAT. DO WHAT EVER YOU CAN TO MAKE HER YOUR OWN. THE BIRTH MOTHER WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO LOVE HER LIKE SHE SHOULD. YOU ARE HER VOICE AND HEART. GOD BLESS YOU.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Travis:

      You are doing Great!! I know it is lonely, but we need to find positive friends to be around. Believe me, family should be everything, but I know of a few families that I am very glad I am not a part of. Good luck, and God Bless

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I was in a different situation....since i was three years old in and out of foster homes...till i was six..and gues what family members took us in (aunt and uncle) dads brother and wife...they were supposed to protect us..be there for us...but no he liked little girls and she turned the other cheek....back to foster homes two more before the final one..got tired of trusting and caring....met him-couldn't live with out him...wasn't alowed to see, talk, or be around him...I loved these foster parents with my whole heart and being...still do...I rebelled got pregnant...my beautiful son is now seventeen..and my beautiful daughter is fifteen...I am now thirty four....and with that same boy from back then...they didn't know he was my heart and soul...done things like trying to take my son from me...I wasn't mature enough, old enough, everything that happened to me would cloud my judgement on how to raise my children..so they thought...all they did was teach me what not to do to my children....I hated everyone..didn't care if I knew you or not....

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: As a foster child, I think it is better to start fostering when your own children are a lot older, if they're young they'll have to share a home, toys, and parents with these foster children. I live with a family, one girl is 11 and the other is 19.. The 11 year old has grown up fostering because my foster carers started fostering when she was born. Personally I don't think it's fair on the little ones, I'm 17 now, I've lived here a year, and me and the 11 year old have a great 'sister' relationship, but she's had some hard times with some of the foster kids.

      :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      i really understand what you have sadi.

      i to ama foster kid i wasnt in the same situation but i was taken away from my momata young age as well.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: hi look ur daughter will have a hard time adjusting to a new kid coming into her house but eventually she will understand

      as for ur husband let him know that u are not just doing this for the money but to help another kid who needs spomeone to help them,

      a home to live in and above all someone to love them for whatever reason it may be.

      good luck

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 6 years ago from Scotland

      When working with vulnerable children, I could have fostered the whole LOT, Emotionally the job took its toll and the stress was immense, I wish I could have given more, but I realised I could not change the system alone:-( but it is only through people like yourself lifting the lid on the "inside" story is what is going to make it change. I salute you and your siblings courage and strength

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      im in foster care have sice i was 5...im now 15...count those yrs. 10 yrs of my life. wasted gone dissapered.... im now in a trial to get adopted. my name will be: charity istalena bugg HODGES. i have been adopted once already so im very shut down.

      now i cant move on from anything. each secound of the day i fall more in to the hole of destruction. the hole that made me cold,rude,shut down and nothing

    • profile image

      Harry3232 6 years ago

      Oh.. So sad i felt sad that you and your siblings have to go through so much pain.

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      Clearly this lens has been a benefit to a lot of people. You have received an Angel blessing and will be featured on the SquidAngel At Your Service lens.

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 6 years ago

      I fully understand your feelings and gives me much grief and rage. How much love for people must have so much pain? You are a person with great strength and I admire you for that.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have grandchildren in a foster/adopted home in Michigan and they are and were abused, they have my grandson brainwashed that he is such a bad child that he has to get good with God before he can be a decent person. My goodness, he is 14 years old now, and when he was only 5 he was thrown up against a wall like he was a full grown man and the state of Michigan did not do a thing about it, the foster/adopted parents also put the children in their rooms with no lights, beds, or anything. The children could only go out maybe a couple times a day to go to the bathroom and go to school. Fed very little! The state did not have any reason to take the children from their mother. She never beat them or abused them, but the foster/adopted parents could and it was OK. Foster care is only there for the big bucks and all the food stamps, they do not care about the children. Children are on this earth to be loved, not misused. A person has to love children in order to have them in their home.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 6 years ago

      One of my favourite lenses. Blessed by an Angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I was raised in foster care all my life and the experience has left me very disfunctional. Although I have been able to work pretty sucessfully, I harbor bad memories and it has taken me years just to realize how much I needed counseling. I have finally started counseling and it is helping me to work through my past. I recommend along with all the moving children from place to place with so many strangers in their life that the system consider the child future needs and emotions and get them counseling as early as possible. I also recommend that they set up a better system to assist children who have aged out of the system so they can become productive happy adults who can function better in life.

    • The-Java-Gal profile image

      The-Java-Gal 6 years ago

      I just watched Dr. Phil today, and the whole hour was on foster-care, or rather the child victims of foster care. He dealt a lot with the break down of trust. Also, the aging out issues. Dr. Phil and his wife are strong advocates of CASA, which stands for court appointed special advocate. It is the one way average citizens can help with the foster care situation. The report from CASA is what the judge reads and can heavily influence what happens to foster children.

      There are also a couple of senators that are focusing on the plight of foster kids, and hoping to make changes in the current system.

      I believe many foster parents are ill-prepared to take in already troubled children. They have idyllic expectations, without proper tools and enough love, patience, and ability to break through the barriers.

      It was heart-wrenching to read your story, but thank you so much for sharing it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      hello,

      my name is casey, im a single mother from melbourne australia. my son is 4 years old and i have been a single parent from the day he was born . we are very close even for a a mother and son and id like to be able to share that with a child who needs it. have recently applied to become a foster parent because i would like to make a difference to just one childs life by giving him or her a stable and loving home. i believe in discipline but i have never raised either my voice or hand to a child nor have i made them skip a meal. i prefer to use the time out method where if a child has done something wrong they get a 5 minute time out to think about their actions an apology a hug and back to play, the only chores they have are to put their dirty clothes in the laundry and pick up their toys after play. i have not yet had a child found for me but i was wondering if as a former foster child you could help me with some things i could do to connect with him or her and make them feel as comfortable as possible i have specified to the department of human services that i am not looking for a temporary situation where a child is returned to a bad home, i am looking for a child that needs a permanent loving and warm home and that i hope to keep this child with me and legally adopt if they will have me when they are old enough to decide for themselves. thank you for your time

      casey wilson

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 6 years ago

      I am so very sorry for your experiences, but you are to be commended for trying to make a life!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This thing of being sent to school without food was a parental strategy and yet another form of child abuse.

      How simple the strategy was to understand. The parent or guardian who wanted to practice this form of abuse, never considered the devastation of the dignity of the child in the wicked plot. They would send the child to school in tattered clothing and without food on the first day, knowing that once the teachers had identified these âpoor peopleâ, the school would fulfil the responsibilities of feeding and clothing them and would even publicly appeal to the other families for clothing. The open display of the abject poverty of the family would soon be common knowledge because in kindness, the school put the child on its feeding scheme for the poor children and those children then received lunch from the school every day. Unfortunately, no subtlety was used to mitigate the embarrassment of the child. The well-meaning school unknowingly exposed the child to a pattern of abuses which would probably last for the rest of the childâs schooling. The children on the scheme were cruelly referred to by the other children as the beggar people and by the staff as bursary pupils. The humiliation of receiving the heaps of hand-me-downs was destructive in many ways. Apart from the child knowing that the well-meaning benefactors pitied them, they were also aware that they would not fit in with the more well off children who ostracised them because of their lower standing.

      In our case it was another of Kittyâs manipulative schemes falling into place. She knew exactly what she was doing when she intentionally caused us to be among these unfortunate children who needed to defend themselves against the stigma attached to being in this category of scavengers.

      Kitty was unthankful for the kindness of the other childrenâs parents and took advantage of them, benefitting from them under the false pretence of being needy.

    • profile image

      scar4 6 years ago

      This is the best lens I have ever read so far. Thank you for writing. Sorry about your experience. Best wishes for all foster children.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      My name is Dawn i was foster all my life .I was put out for adoption but never adopted because social screwed up a family want me but the where move out of the province so social would not take me with them so i was in fifteen different foster home .

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: I am so sorry for your grandchildren. I have been a foster adopt parent for 2 years now. I have a beautiful boy who I love more than anything else in the world. I decided to become a foster adopt parent because of stories like yours. It breaks my heart that the system is so broken that they allow people like this to have children. Please know that there are people like me out there who do this because they want children and truely love them and who have good homes.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I did supervised access for many years for parents of children in the care of the Ministry. It was incredibly hard watching sometimes when one knew the sheer depth of the levels of fear and confusion the children felt, and there was no way to help as we were not to intervene, just supervise for safety. Angel blessed, and will be featured on November Blessings.

    • howtocurecancer profile image

      howtocurecancer 6 years ago

      Your lens is very touching. God help you, your life was a battle for surviving.

    • howtocurecancer profile image

      howtocurecancer 6 years ago

      Your lens is very touching. God help you, your life was a battle for surviving.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wow. you and your siblings have beeen threw alot. I love your lens. It is touching.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      im 13 and i have been a foster kid since i was 8 1/2 and i like it. it is a chance to meet new people and have new friends . i live in oregon and so ya it is better . :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      My heart goes out to all children in foster care. I read your story and it is touching. This caught my attention for I know foster care person who is dear to my heart is now homeless.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      hello im shade store i have been in foster care for two years i hate it i am 14 and its not all peachy and bright i want to go home but my dads now in jail and my moms pregnant with someone elses baby she is 7 months along im not alowed to see or talk to my brother or sister or any else of my family ...but my aunts trying to get me which is hard when shes pregnant and has two other kids and lives in vegas what do u suggest i do

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi.. im just telling you all out there in foster care.. im Sharon im 13 years old and im trying to make a difference for all the foster kids.. i want to give you a better life.. not adopt you but be there like a big brother or sister for you, i want to be your friend not your parent or anything. and my heart goes to all you guys out there. You guys are soo strong and i wanted to tell you guys that you are.. im very proud of all you guys out there being strong.. stay strong.. it will get better for you kids...

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Im a foster child and I have been since i was 12 years old it was the best thing that has happened to me but it has been a struggle and still is to this day i have no sense in belonging in any place i have been in I know that i will never have it either so im either going to make it ir fail i feel like those are the only tooo options i have this story reminds me alot of myself

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A very sad and thought provoking lens. I wish you peace.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you for sharing your sad story. I hope things are much better now and that this lens will teach a better way. Blessed by a squid angel.

    • profile image

      RobGrawberger 6 years ago

      Wow!!! What an emotional trip reading your lens. Thank you for allowing us to follow your journey through life, it is extremely touching. Prayers be with you that you are able to overcome all your childhood trauma someday.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      mY NAME IS mISS cHRIS AND i HAD A VERY VERY TERRIBLE UP BRINGING. tHE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MYSELF AND A FOSTER CHILD IS i WAS LEFT IN MY TERRIBLE HOME AND THEY WERE BLESSED ENOUGH TO BE TAKEN OUT. i HAVE BEEN A FOSTER-MOM FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS. i AM PRESENTLY RAISING A 6YR OLD AND 2 YR OLD FROM A PAST FOSTER CHILD THAT I HAD IN MY HOME MANY YEARS AGO. i AM TRYING TO HELP HER UNTIL SHE GETS CUSTODY OF HER CHILDREN BACK. SHE DOESN'T APPRECIATE THE FACT THAT I HAVE GIVEN UP MY LIFE TO ASSIST HER. ALL OF MY BIOLOGICAL KIDS ARE GROWN AND COMPLETED COLLEGE. MY SON IS A DOCTOR,ONE DAUGHTER A FINANCIAL MANAGER, AND MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER A NURSE. I TRIED TO HELP THE YOUNG LADY BUT SHE CONTINUOSLY MADEHUGE BAD CHOICES FOR HER LIFE. SHE IS BIPOLAR AND IN DENIAL THAT SHE NEEDS MEDICATION BUT YELLS AND SCREAMS AT HER CHILDREN. THEY WERE TAKEN FOR HER ABUSE OF HER 6 YR OLD. BLACK EYES AND BUSTED LIPS. I AM GETTING VERY TIRED OF DEALING WITH THIS FAMILY. THE 6 YR OLD IS BEGINNING TO SHOW GENETIC SIGNS OF BEING EXACTLY LIKE MOM.

      WHAT A CHALLENGE. SHE IS IN DENIAL AND LIVES WITH A MAN THAT JUST CAME OUT OF PRISON. I AM PLANNING TO FIND A NICE CHRISTIAN HOME FOR THE CHILDREN THAT I CAN GET ON WITH MY LIFE. I HAVE DONE ALL I CAN DO AND IS NOW ON DEPRESSION MEDICATION DUE TO THIS YOUNG LADIES MOOD SWINGS.

      I FEEL FOR SOME FOSTER CHILDREN THAT ARE TRYING TO SUCCEED BUT THERE ARE OTHERS THAT STEAL,LIE AND I HAVE HAD THEM ALL IN MY HOME. SOME THAT HAD NOTHING BUT SEX AND ONE GIRL THAT BRAGGED THAT SHE HAD 3 BABIES AND SHE WAS ONLY 14. WORST THING THAT I HAD EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. I PRAY FOR THESE KIDS BUT I NO LONGER WANT TO HELP BECAUSE THE KIDS ARE JUST PLAN NAUGHTY. I SAY THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO BUILD ORPHANAGES AS THEY HAD YEARS AGO . HAPPY YOUR SITUATION CHANGED. DID YOU FURTHER YOUR EDUCATION?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      My story isn't being told (people like me). I'm a 70 year old man. I can tell you, the stories I find about foster kids, are all about 18 yr olds. After WWii, the 194os, a whole bunch of kids were dumped into the system. But our story is not considered relevant . If we have a Bad" story and no one listens. I've got news for them, we are still out here.

    • EuroSquid LM profile image

      EuroSquid LM 6 years ago

      I have loved this lens for years. Today is my first day of being a Squid Angel and I just had to come by and bless it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thats disscusting that you would say something like that about those kids. They have been misslead and horribly off track, but its your jobs as a foster MOTHER to help them, care for them and let them know that you will be there for them when they need you. I am no foster child, but i know that if i had 3 children at my age and the only way i could get attention was talking about them then yes i would do it. They have never known a good and stable home. If you want to be a foster MOTHER then you have to some what act like a mother instead of a pain in their behind that's always telling them what to do. THey are just kids that dont know what way to go, they are lost and if you dont care about getting them on track then why are you a foster parent. You have to be fully dedicated to do your job correctly and afficiently. You are not suppose to judge children you are suppose to help, nuture, and raise them, That is what a MOTHER is whether its a foster or biological. If you plan to continue your job then you need to see things from their perspective. Do you give them equal attention? If the 6 year old is acting like the mother then take the child to the docoter because if you cant help the mother, the least you can do is help and make sure her children dont follow the same path as her. What the mother does is her bussiness, its her life and shes going to do what shes wants, but you cant do anything about it. All you can do is help her children and maybe by helping them you could possibly help her as well.

    • surfer1969 lm profile image

      surfer1969 lm 6 years ago

      So sad the life you,a tear jerker

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: You can't speak to it unless you've been there, Kayla. We decided to be foster parents. A 14 year old girl. We were so proud of the progress she made the first year. She worked so hard at school, she had a bunch of animals that she did a great job with. We were firm, but very fair. Overly fair. We loved her. Still do, really. We spoiled her a bit. We gave her everything, our hearts. But she was already too broken. Once she turned 16, she couldn't handle her own feelings. She had never returned our love, but now she never gives up an opportunity to disrespect us. She has sex with anyone, girl or boy. She abuses people at school and online, to the point where 2 parents (our friends) have threatened to call the police on her. We ground her, but she sneaks out after midnight to have sex. She challenged her "boyfriend of the moment" to have sex with her while we were home just to see if she could get away with it. She had sex at Sonic just to get away with it. I gave her my Jeep, jacked it up for her, put on really nice tires for her, a couple nice accessories so she could have some fun offroading. She drove drunk in it several times and finally just broke it after trying to get some "wicked air" in it, all before I found out any of it. She told her friends some very personal and embarrassing family secrets.

      We showed her so much love and compassion. Her mother promised her a horse, but of course didn't deliver, and so I actually bought her a horse to raise and train. We gave her the awesome Jeep. We spent so much time with her. The whole first year of school I would sit with her helping her with homework. After the first few months with her in foster care, we set up an account and gave her the money the state was paying us. She started to just blow it all, much of it on pot, until we confiscated it.

      Love is not a one-way street. You can say that "love is something you give", but that's just not the case. Even an infant gives the love back. But she never did, never will. Sure, she's had a hard life, but to give and give and give only to have her constantly disrespect us at every turn is too much. We cry a lot.

      Right now, she's got no car - we revoked it for 6 months for drinking and driving. She's got no computer or iphone - we revoked them until we can be confident that she will stop being an internet bully. I've all but quit my night job so I can stay home to be with her, but she just locks herself in her room all evening. But I can't trust her to live a life without being self-destructive yet. But she's only got 18 months left until she's 18. She's welcome to stay here or I'll help put her through college, but I'm not sure she will, and if she does go to college, will she be able to live a reasonably responsible life? I'm hoping.

    • surfer1969 lm profile image

      surfer1969 lm 6 years ago

      @anonymous: I think there come a time In life where all of us feel like we don't fit In at sometimes.It's human nature to want to be loved and accepted by the people around you and the people you love too.As for failing really the only way you can fail Is If you give up on It all together.Me I knew my parents,my mom passed away about 7 or 8 yrs ago.My dad Is still around to helped me out even though sometimes I can be a pain In the neck with my stubbornness,he always tell me that's my mom side.lol I know I've been struggling to tried to get something started online to better myself In life.

      But enough with my life what I'm trying to say Is don't give up on yourself even when It's rough and you'll do find.Always look for ways to better yourself.

    • surfer1969 lm profile image

      surfer1969 lm 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Sounds like she's acting out on her negative emotions by testing you all out.Some people with a bad past just can't get over It so they act out.A very danger fill road waits for her ahead If she don't learned to take controlled of herself.As for giving her all the loved you can give her,It might not be enough to helped her out.She might need to see a dr that can helped her cope with life.Take for Instance the acting out sexually part,sounds to me like she might have been sexually abused In the past at 1 time.Alot of people that sexually abused will think of that as a false kind of love and the only way they can get It.I would get her mental help If I was you.Because there something more to the picture then you are seeing.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      What a blessing you are going to be for so many people. Angel blessed and featured on my Adoption SquidAngel lens. Liked and favored. I wish I could do more but what an incredible piece.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Thank you for sharing your story. It reminded me of a girl I knew when I was growing up. The woman that lived next door to my family for awhile was a foster parent. I think she was kind and loving to the babies she cared for, but she wasn't that kind to an older girl in her care who was about my age (11 or so). I think she took in the older girl for the money, to help her around the house and to help her care for the babies. She only had the older girl for a short period of time because she "had too many problems". The girl's story was similar to yours. She was the oldest of several children I can remember how much she was grieving and missing her mother and siblings. I often wonder what ever happened to that girl and hope she was able to grow into adulthood and find happiness.

    • profile image

      dangerman1993 6 years ago

      i was in that state and i was 16mths old when i went to forstering and i am now 17 and it is not nice be out with ur birth family but i don't know why thay do it for but that story made me cry cause i fellt like i was there

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Hey Shade ! I would love to talk more to you ! I used to be a Foster Child myself. My father too was in Jail and my mother was also pregnant with other guy's baby's. I am adopted now and I recently found my birth mother and siblings. I just want to be your friend ! I fell like if all of the foster children/teens get together and talk about issues they face everyday the suicide rate will go down some ! I I am only 15 but, I speak the truth and love to help people ! If you want to talk please email me at dandrakay@gmail.com ! Thanks ! My prayers, wishes and my heart is out there with you ! God Bless ! Your Friend Dandra KAy

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I am a teen in foster care... 6 years now. Anyway I hate, I have deep hatred for this life I was thrown into. I feel trapped. Its just me and my brother. My story is not like any other foster child, as their story is also different to mine. This helped me reading your story. It gives me some kind of hope. To once again live with MY parents MY actual parents. - Thank you,Megan

    • Kelsey-Budden-16 profile image

      Kelsey-Budden-16 6 years ago

      Sad story. Very sad story! It makes me want to cry.

      I have not experienced foster care but, I do have a little buddy who is in foster care right now. He is now my neighbor and loves it. He has 2 English Mastiffs and a great family.

      I've had some of my sister's relatives in foster care as well. I just don't think I want to mention anything about it. I know a lot but it is sad.

      I do not know what it feels like to be abused with fists. I do know what it feels like to be abused in another scary kind of way. Let me put it this way. My sister's father looked at me as more than a 'step-daughter'. I am thankful he is out of the house and I don't have to contact him if I don't desire.

      As of today, I hope you are doing fine and have loving memories to over-power the burdened ones.

      Wishing you all the best in 2011. :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story. I have recently taken a position as a foster parent recruiter. I treasure your honesty and hope and pray God gives me the discernment to weed out the ones only wanting a pay check, the mean ones and the ones wanting workers. Yes, it's 2011 and they still exist, I am sure. I pray that God would help me find the ones who serve pancakes for dinner and watch Kung Fu. You are a blessing and you have spoken for those little ones who can't speak for themselves.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for this blog. I was not a foster child. I know this may be seen as not really getty you, and I am sorry. However, i was sent to boarding school and was not really visited. I get some of your feelings.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      My name is Mitchell.

      I was thrown into foster care with my 3 younger siblings. Our mother was a severe substance abuser. I protected my siblings from the day they were born. I would sleep under their cribs, brush their hair, feed them.

      Age 10, we were placed in our first foster home because my mother came to my school drunk. After 3 months we were reunited with her.

      By age 12 (after several more intense episodes of foster homes and failed attempts of reunification) my siblings and I were separated. My brother and I in one home and my little sisters in another. I didn't know where my sisters were going to go or whom they would go to. Would I ever see them again? Who would protect them?

      By age 15 the parents that had adopted my sisters chose to adopt my brother and me. The 6 of us moved to Oregon and started a family, with a mom and a dad.

      By age 18 I graduated high school with several scholarships for college.

      Age 23, I accomplished my second life goal; run a marathon. I was 3 seconds away from qualifying for the Boston. My goal was to only finish. Several months prior my biological mother was murdered.

      By age 24 I graduated college with a science degree but also received a scholarship to study Spanish in Chile for 3 months. While in Chile, my host family "adopted" me and I lived with them for 2 years.

      Today, (11 February 2011), at age 27, my adopted dad died. I live in Portland, Oregon.

      I have fought the depravity of humanity. I am an expert in self-loathing, and never being good enough. I feel the horrific reoccurring memories of physical abuse, molestation, homelessness, fear. I hear the resonating voice of my biological mother yelling, "never trust anyone."

      My past has shown me to cheer for others to look at the unique life experiences we each have, and use skills from those experiences to accomplish any obstacle or goal.

      We will always be reminded of the affects of the past. It's how we relate to those memories that will power us. We are the leaders of our peer groups, our communities, our social groups; whenever a foster child is named a leader can emerge.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I grew in an abusive foster home and orphanage. My abusive foster parents neigbhor took me but the offical foster parenst got the check, medical card (they use for their own daughter) and food stamps I start my own facebook page http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Colleen-A-Jeffries-Foster-CareOrphan-Discussion/159376837429414 let me what you think thanks Thank you for sharing your story.

    • EdTecher profile image

      Heidi Reina 6 years ago from USA

      I love your lens. It's moving to see how you've come through so much, and how your story and blog are helping others. Happy Valentine's Day. Blessed by a squid angel ~

    • profile image

      Colleenjeffries2 6 years ago

      @PNWtravels: Vickie where did you live growing up i lived in chicago Illinois in a foster home thanks

    • profile image

      Colleenjeffries2 6 years ago

      @anonymous: I have a facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Colleen-A-Jeffries-Foster-CareOrphan-Discussion/159376837429414 Please read and click on "like icon" and establish your own facebook page It doesn't take away from the pain but there are other former and current foster children who you could bond with. I have met of former and current foster chlidren I still have the sad times where I feel even God hates me. That sadness will never go away but I am not alone anymore the people I have met on line are my foster sisters and foster brother we are family and we are one of the largest culture on this planet.

    • profile image

      Colleenjeffries2 6 years ago

      I was asked recently what I would change about my past. Nothing thru all the pain and the sadness I felt once in a while I will change nothing because of others like my self i have a huge family and culture I belong too. Remember Facebook, myspace, twitter and blog and even YouTube we can share our stories and connect with former and current foster children like our selves. Foster parents can view these stories to get a better understanding of us. Foster parents you can start your own facebook, myspace, twitter and blog about your foster care provider and connect with other foster parents. Thanks for reading this.: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=1440004555&am.../pages/Colleen-A-Jeffries-Foster-CareOrphan-Discussion/159376837429414

    • Cinnamonbite profile image

      Cinnamonbite 6 years ago

      I'm right there with you. I guess it leaves a permanent mark on all of us. After a lifetime of inner hatred I instinctively turned it outward and I'm pretty much a misanthrope. I have to be really careful online because I tend to uh...go for the throat. Often.

      But it's interesting to know that I'm not alone.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I read your story and it is heart breaking. I am a licensed foster care to adopt parent. Your story is horrific. Reading stories like yours make me want to be a better parent. Every day I pray we get a child to adopt so I can cherish and love that child every day. I know I can never replace the parents a child has lost but I hope I can still bring joy to their lives and heart. My husband and I have have to daughters of our own, ages 19 and 15. I tell them every day how much I love them. I show it too. I printed your story off for a foster mom friend of mine who has 4 siblings she is foster parenting. She is a great foster parent but it always helps to be reminded that every child needs to be loved and cherished. Thank you for your story. God bless you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      im a foster child i feel the same as all of you seperated from my brothers and sisters not able to have visits a drug addictive mom who does not want me back no dad he left me when i was five homeless and now wat? im here waiting for a happy ending wherz my fairy godmother? plz contact me for advice or anything a shoulder to cry on destiny.rodriguez14@yahoo.com

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I am so glad for the internet I finally have an voice to express my experiences as a foster child and living for 2 years in an orphanage. I know I am 51 years old but it still is very fresh in my mind. Sometimes at night I will cried because i still have all that pain inside. For a long time I would never cried because when I did my foster mother would beat my face. I finally learn to cried in the shower with out any sound It is not natural to cried that way.I am very thankful I am not alone with my nightmarish experience in the US foster care system. I am finally grateful to see the TV/movies finally portrait the foster care system for what it really is. The abusive is out in the open there is no way to put the lid on the can of worms but now we need to make the system better and let good foster parents get the support and pray foster children will realize that is OK to show good foster parents love even if it is for a little while.

    • SylviaRolfe profile image

      SylviaRolfe 6 years ago

      Wow, your lens has tears streaming down my face. I could never imagine the pain you went through. My god. Another thing that made me cry is one of your angel pictures. I have it hanging in my youngest daughters room... It is so beautiful. And it watches over her. I think part of what hit me so incredibly hard is I have 5 children myself. Unlike your family ours is 2 girls and 3 boys but either way your story struck me hard. I wish the best for you and your siblings and all other children who have been ripped away from those they love (even if the ones they love are not their own parents).

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 6 years ago

      My heart goes out to you - have a thumbs up from me!

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 6 years ago

      thank you for sharing this touching personal story. God be with you.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you for sharing. I wish I have read this before. I would have been a more compassionate person. I admire you for keeping on and making a good life for yourself now.

    • Northbright profile image

      Norbert Isles 6 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you for sharing your story. I am deeply touched and admire you because you "rise above and become one heck of a strong person" despite what you have gone through. God bless you.

    • Harshitha LM profile image

      Harshitha LM 6 years ago

      Very touching. I do not know what to say. You have experienced a lot of pain.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wow what a journey. I found your words make me more determined than ever to be a Foster Mom. I am just starting the process and I hope that I would be the Foster Mom you remembered ~ Thank you! Keep laughing : )

    • profile image

      slotowngal 6 years ago

      Foster care is difficult. The system is not perfect. But there are some wonderful foster parents who become the anchor and security for children who have never had the love and care they deserved from their own parents. I have known some of them. I am so sorry you experienced what you did. I hope you and your siblings are still close to each other now and that you support each other in your lives. Angel blessed for sharing a very difficult story.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story, I also lived in foster homes from the age of 6 until I was 14. Some were good , and others forever changed who I would become. It was not until I was older did I realize the impact that living in foster care would have on me and how it would become something to reconcile and face as I grew older. I think that the important message in your story, in mine and in many others is that we are valued, we are loved and we worthy because we are here. We are not broken, we are not damaged we are divinely perfect then and now. God bless you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story in this forum. I cried and truly felt you as I read this as I also grew up in foster care from the age of 6- 14. I was taken away from my parents because they valued a bottle of alcohol over their children. Some homes were good, I somehow never stayed with them very long and some forever changed who I would become as a person good and bad. It wasn't until I was much older did I realize the impact this experience would have on me and the process that I would have to undertake to face it. However the message to take away from your story, from mine and from countless others is that we are valued, we are loved, we are not broken or damaged , then and now. We are worthy because we are here...God bless you.

    • janeaustengirl lm profile image

      janeaustengirl lm 6 years ago

      Bless your heart! Thank you for sharing your journey. I know that by you being brave enough to be so open about your experiences, you have also helped others!

    • profile image

      pico88 6 years ago

      @Harshitha LM: i'm agree with you, I cant say anything Very touching!

      like this

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wow. Thank-you for sharing your story. I am in classes now to become a foster parent. With all of the thought that has gone into this decision, it has never once crossed my mind that the children, or anyone else for that matter, would think we were doing it for the money. The amount of money they pay in our state doesn't even come to close to caring for a child. Your story helped me to prepare for the emotions that the children may be feeling upon entering this home. Thank-you again.

    • profile image

      jm72writes 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story. I'm a foster parent and I cannot imagine how adults can mistreat children. They are precious to me. I'm impressed with how you have overcome such horrible experiences and are able to share your story and help others. Foster parents need to hear this and understand a tiny bit of what the kids are feeling.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Adding this lens to Child Protection Work - many thanks.

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 6 years ago

      This is really touching and I am really moved. Thank you for sharing. See you around the galaxy...

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      Your story is s riveting and tugged at my heart not to mention made me teary-eyed. How can people be so mean to little children. Bless you heart for sharing your story to open our eyes to our flawed foster care system and the damage to a child's emotional well-being. Thank you for the courage to open up and let everyone hear your voice.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      thank you so much for your story, we've done foster care for five years and were r taking a break. my heart aches all the time for kids with broken hearts. i came from a very messed up home myself. i can't understand anyone doing it for the money as it has drained us finaceually as well as mentally!! my wish is more foster parents so all of us can take fewer placements so we can give them all the attention they deserve.

    • christopherlee lm profile image

      christopherlee lm 6 years ago

      Hi Debra, going through your story from the beginning to the end, the story brought swell of tear to my eyes, I had been in a similar situation myself, I had another 2 sisters, and Iâm the second one in the family. I understand how you felt, and the difficulty you went through, it is some thing that no kid at a tender age has to go through, there was no warm, no food, no love for those kids, and you have to do a lot more than kid with proper parent and home to survive. My parent went through a divorce went I was 4, my elder sister 6, and my younger about 2-3, my mother decided to pack up and left my father after many year of mistreatment. He was a heartless being. None of us were able to depend on him. My mother took us back to our grand's parent home about 10 miles away, and left us after a few months there, and I never saw her again. Life was pretty much like you mentioned under my auntâs house, she had 5 daughters. The oldest was about 8-9 years older than us, so we had no life and love under their roof. A year later we were separated and live under different relatives; it was pretty much the same. We were working all day and most night before we could take a rest.

      After 10 years, my mother started to contact us a gain, and we got reunited. We decided to come and meet her and her new found partner in another country. You could probably guessed, I was very much disappointed, she let us down again, despite all those years we hadn't been together. Her attitude was, I should feel blessed to be able to reunite with her. But i kept my head down most of the time under that roof, and kept silent most of the time, living with 2 more step brother and sister. The love was not equal. However. I continue to stay on with them and try to take thing a little at a time. A year or so after high school I found out that my step father cheated on my mother, I ask him to leave the house. My high school year was really messed up. But some how I manage to finish my education and continue to be successful in Science and Aeronautic during my adolescence life. It was a big effort for me especially having missed so many year at school.

      What I have learned is that nothing is permanent in this world, sooner or later, what ever it is, big or small, powerful or insignificant, in time it will wither away like the wind passing by. So we need to cherish every opportunity while we can, after our time is up we no longer able to turn it back and that will be a time for regret.

      Anger and disappointment?.. I had a few but I have learned to let go, as I understood now that other human beings does not have full control over their life as well, they were merely a human being without any real direction themselves and struggle to live an ideal life at every opportunity they can find... that is being mundane, and that is the nature of every human being. A life without any substance is not worth living. Those who took every opportunity to degrade other, you can observer that they don't have any joy and happiness themselves; this is a testament for you. And that is a life really not worth living.

      Back during my childhood life, I wish I could have done more for my brother and sister, I hope that you will learn to let it go and look after your sibling well. Take care. God bless you. You are a special child that have gone through a lot in life.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I can really relate to all of it!! I was in foster care for 4 years....3 other siblings also, back in the 70's....I was 6 years old. I was also abused in foster care....the cleaning part and strict punishment is all too familiar. Then also I was released to my father and new step mother, which I've many times said it felt like another foster home. Thanks so much for sharing and thank you to all of the foster parents who don't abuse and treat their foster children with love, respect and patience, we appreciate you....the smallest acts of kindness mean everything to a foster child :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Julie,

      Just some advice from an ex-foster child.....be patient, it will take structure, consistancy, fairness, and kindness for a length of time before a foster child can trust. Walls are built up because they have found that adults are not to be trusted. Don't take it personally...be patient. A foster child may want to trust and confide in someone but may not be able to get the words out...literally frozen with fear. Simple things like giving them their own special place (room), having a drawer in the kitchen for their snacks ( they actually may be hungry but are too afraid or shy to ask for something to eat). If you make a drawer, put their name on it, and tell them that it is theirs, they may be more likely to reach for a snack if their hungry. Leave notes for them reminding them that you care and that your there for them. This may inspire them to respond to you and write back it may be easier than talking. Good luck :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you Kayla for coming to the foster child's defense. I am an ex foster child who was abused. I'm 41 now and doing well...but you never escape from the pain and abandonment issues that stem from being separated from your family. From what her foster mother say she may actually be "bi-polar" which may be a big part of the problem in addition to all of the other issues that come from being a foster child. Unfortunately, some foster kids don't get over the inner pain and self distruct. In addition, the foster mother's tone seems kinda nasty, I'm guessing theirs also more to this story......

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Just a thought Chad, I believe that was your wife that said she was "bi-polar"? If that is a true diagnoise that may be that's the real problem with her behavior. That, on top of abandement issues sounds like possible reasons for her outrageous behavior. Obviously, she's in a lot of pain and in a self hatred mode, it may take a long time, and maybe meds and therapy to get her together. I'm sure it wasn't easy for her also having your other children as siblings- just because of the pressure of being as good as them...or always knowing you will never be as good, loved or as accepted as them....this is the way foster kids think...they can't help it...it's not your fault...it's just how it is....

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Stay strong, keep hope, I spent 4 years in homes from 6 to 10 years old. I'm 41 now and a nurse and still going to college to earn a higher degree. I did it all myself. Even after I got out of homes released to my dad, I took care of myself, the parental guidance just wasn't there. Try and make the right decisions...you know in your heart which ones are right...Self preservation: do what you need to do to emotionally stay sane. Remember God loves you, if you get out tomorrow or in to years, or when your 18....one day you'll be out and be able to live a life of your own. You'll make you own family and live again. This is not forever. God Bless you, keep strong...your not alone...

    • JackNimble profile image

      JackNimble 6 years ago

      Wow! Amazing site. Thanks for sharing your story. I read the book called, "A Child Called It" and I was deeply touched. I was a volunteer mentor for a foster child and I am sad to say that I lost touch with him and I think about him often and wonder how he is doing. I know he aged out of foster care a long time ago. The statistic you shared on homelessness and foster kids is extremely sad.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm a former foster myself. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing this. I am tears in my eyes as I write. I am currently becoming a foster parent and I am very touched by your story. You are an amazing women. I have learned a lot from your experience and I hope to have wonderful home for children (like the Hayes).

    • PropheticBlogge1 profile image

      PropheticBlogge1 5 years ago

      The way you write is incredibly powerful and moving, thankyou for sharing your story with me. Most of us live in ignorance of the foster care system and I felt awful that the things you describe actually happen and people like me know nothing about it. I hope someone of note finds your story and can use it to make a change to the system for the better. Best Wishes PB

    • JillY88 profile image

      JillY88 5 years ago

      I am glad that you found your dad again and I do hope that you are happy now. Amazing, strong person. I have oftened thought about fostering children mainly because I here of such terrible things that happen to children in foster care. I do not understand how humans can be so cruel to another.

      I wish all children could live happier lives. My husband does not think that I would be able to do it emotionally.

      I wish you all the very best throughout your life. God bless you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My personal experience with foster homes is that they are probably worse than orphanages. (Okay, I'm not talking about Dickensian orphanages here.) Why worse? Because they raise some elusive expectation that someone will love you and want to keep you, and that doesn't happen. I spent 13 years in foster care with no hope of ever returning to family at any point. While many foster parents are serious going in, the reality is that they are taking on kids who have been through fire - I call it the "puppy syndrome." The enthusiasm wanes with the realization that a child who watched her mother being murdered may frequently wake screaming during the night. Back to the pound. I have no doubt that there are good foster parents out there, but frankly, harsh reality is better than having to show gratitude to do-gooders who have tired of the cause. I completely related to your sentiments regarding the expectation of thankfulness and servility to people who are often acting only in their self-interest. Thank you!

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 5 years ago

      Your story is one that, once started, cannot be put down. You have a true talent for expressing yourself and my heart breaks for what you have been through. But not only you. So many children need love. Where there is love, anything can be overcome. Unfortunately, there is a gap in what is allowed and what is freely given.

      My husband and I were asked to be foster parents. Already knowing the heartache of losing a child, we didn't feel we could go through that again or put a child through it. After much soul searching, we said we would like to be foster parent. That's when the rules began to be revealed. We were told we would not be allowed to keep any child in our home for longer than two years. We were also told that such things as rocking the little ones was against the rules. We knew we could not take a child into our home and treat him or her differently than we would our own. It's not healthy for anyone to be treated differently in any situation. Besides, sincere love should never be limited.

      We had several people ask us to adopt their children and we wanted to, but again, there were rules that stood in the way. We had so much love to give, but our hands were tied by ridiculous rules.

      After watching the video you posted, I am thrilled to see that there are people who are changing the rules to match the needs. Thank you so very much for sharing your story. I am sincerely moved by your determination to overcome so much and rise to the top. May God bless you and your siblings.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You share an experience which is very touching and frankly, an emotional experience which is hard to empathize for people who come from the cliched 'normal' homes. It is my belief that life gives us 'measures' as much as we can sustain and the tougher ones 'stand out' of the crowd - as beacons for guiding other hapless beings to 'look up to' as guides and Angels! Wish you well and God bless. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thankyou for sharing your story...I have been a foster parent for 10 years and appreciate your candid story. I tell the kids I have that I cannot understand what they have been through but I know in my heart i do everything in my power to keep our home safe, fair, peaceful and happy. I do not dump the kids and keep them as long as possible, even sometimes when it seems unworkable. I dont like to give up on the kids at all. I pride myself in trying as hard as I can for any kid that I have had in my care. Sometimes I do take things that the kids do personally, but you helped me open my eyes a bit by your story. I know it must be hard for the kids to appreciate a foster home. I am truly sorry that you had bad experiences with some foster homes. I know our home is monitored constantly by DSS workers and the foster parent group I work for. I feel that the kids already have had it tough, they dont need to have it tough with us. I have to be careful at times, because they do become manipulative and will take advantage of good nature. I hope you have found peace in your life (it sounds like you have) and wish you only the best in life. Blessings to you~

    • profile image

      Strawberryangel 5 years ago

      You have a beautiful lens and really write from your heart. I appreciate your sharing your and your siblings story. The foster care system/child welfare is a topic that needs to be openly discussed. People NEED to hear stories of people who experience it. I know there are a few wonderful foster parents. I've considered becoming one myself. Then CPS knocked on my door because someone called them with heresay. Our family has been through hell for many months dealing with this. There are children that need protection, there are truely caring caseworkers. More so though, caseworkers/the system, allow other reasons to guide removal of the children from the home (egos, government grants and the like). Most children would be better left in their own homes, imperfect as they are. Many blessings to you!

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 5 years ago from South Africa

      I had to stop reading a few times, your story is that gripping. We all hear horror stories but how many of us actually "feel" the experience with the children? Your experiences make the reader experience the pain and anguish you experienced, the desperation, the feeling of being trapped. This is what I felt reading this lens. Thank you for sharing your life with us! Beautifully written.

    • knit1tat2 profile image

      knit1tat2 5 years ago

      I'm so very concerned that many other children are suffering the same experiences! I was a foster mom for over 15 years, and I did make a heart conection with each of them! A couple I raised from toddler to adult and they are my kids!!!! I've helped them raise their kids, I'm Mom and Grandma! I saw the harm the disfunctional family life of the birth family, then the bouncing around and often splitting up of siblings, in the foster families did to the children that came to me. Thanks for a wonderful lens, and offering hope as there really is. Above all else, there really is hope!

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 5 years ago

      What a terrible amazing story you tell. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to grow up as you did. Thanks for sharing your story. Blessings to you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      wow thank you for writing this. it really touched my heart, I am very interested in fostering sibling groups and It was so good to hear your truth even if it was painful to read. thank you!

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 5 years ago

      What a terrible thing to happen to five little kids :( So sorry you all had to go through all that... You foster parents were monsters! Glad your Dad was able to get custody of you all. And I hope you continue to be a strong person that you are. Wishing you only the very best in life.

    • profile image

      writer_villa 5 years ago

      Good lens

    • ananimoss2 profile image

      ananimoss2 5 years ago

      I don't know what to say...except you are a real survivor... Thank you for sharing... We think about being foster parents (good ones, hopefully) when our kids are gone to college.

    • amkatee profile image

      amkatee 5 years ago

      Oh man I like that video for Big House. We help at a summer camp for kids called Royal Family Kids Camp. I have a lens about it. I love it. We are considering becoming foster parents right now. It breaks my heart to hear stories like yours.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      omg i am a foster child right now and you story is very touching but what you have to realize is not all foster parents are like that my foster parent are just fine i mean i do have my good days and my bad days well at least im out of the trouble i was in with my father and his horrible girlfriend she was just horrible and now im happy im somwhere safe and im happy my foster mom name is DORTHY SPIKES , FROM BURKEVILLE ,TX AND I LOVE HER

    • dc64 lm profile image
      Author

      dc64 lm 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Your foster mom must be an amazing person to have you comment and tell how happy you are with her. May she be blessed for the rest of her life for giving of herself in such a wonderful way.

    • dc64 lm profile image
      Author

      dc64 lm 5 years ago

      @ananimoss2: I'm sure you will be good ones. I believe good intentions go a long way.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      A throw away kid...boy, do I know the feeling! 100% true. Rise ABOVE or fall. I've risen ab ove. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      truly inspiring lens, this is why I like to search out and find gems like this. Very glad I browsed upon your lens tonight. If you also like to browse lens as I do, mine has a great educational topic with poll questions for my readers to enjoy.

    Click to Rate This Article