Foster Care (Part One)
Okay so I’m finally getting back to this. Things have been tough recently, though I’m not going to go into details about this. I don’t want to derail the point of the blog. I believe I already talked about my earliest memories in this blog. Now I’m going to talk about the early foster care experiences, as much as I remember, and some feelings I have about it now.
When I was three and a half, I was for some reason, taken out of my birth home and placed in a foster home in Ukiah, CA. I do not remember anything about this first experience in the foster home, I do know however that I was given back to my birth family for a time and then returned to the foster home around four and a half or five years old. What I do remember is this foster home was full; there were ten children there, and it was supervised by an older couple and sometimes their daughter. I remember asking about their daughter when I was young, as I did not have a grasp that children grew up, and thought that she would be one of us. I was surprised to see a grown woman, whom the couple called their daughter, come to help occasionally.
Things were tough there. Sure, we had a roof over our heads, but as I was malnourished from my birth home, I don’t think I ever remember feeling full. I know that foster homes are given a certain amount of money for each child they shelter, but I don’t believe it’s enough to cover the entire cost of what the child needs, and this couple did not work; they were retired. They had good enough hearts but I think they bit off more than they could chew. Physical needs were for the most part taken care of, scraped knees cared for, but there was a lot of emotional neglect.
One highlight of this time that stood out to me is one day my birth mother visited, bringing in her arms a tiny bundle. It was my fifth birthday, and she was bringing me my birthday present (a PacMan book bag) and showing me my baby sister, whom she had been able to bring out for the first time. Remember this fact, more about this will come out later.
I don’t remember much after that, or when I was transferred to my next home. This was a couple with two teenage sons (well, one was twelve) who had been unable to have children after that and wanted a daughter. It was to be an adoption placement eventually, but as in all placements there is a period of time where you are considered to be a foster home for the child. It seemed to be a good home, they were fairly well to do. We had a pool and I had a pony. I had lots of toys and pretty dresses; she liked me looking like a doll. My hair was waist length back then. I was still tiny, but gaining. It seemed like it was an ideal home, ideal family. But one day, my things were packed away in paper bags and I found myself in the car of a social worker once more. The man had been in an affair, and the wife was divorcing him.
The next home was so dysfunctional that I am going to need a blog post to itself.