Childhood Memories of My Life in Foster Care

Childhood Memories of My Life in Foster Care

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It was the summer of 2004, cat calls, car horns and heavy tension filled the air. It was
like clockwork, the winter months brought about a little peace on the streets, but the hotter
the summer, the more violent the concrete jungle seemed. It’s amazing how even at a tender
age I understood the dynamics of the streets, maybe because my home was no different.
As the sunlight gleamed into the dimly lit room I found myself basking in the rays
in an attempt to escape to the flawless home I so longed for. These walls held stories,
but none of Merry Christmas’s, Happy Birthdays, or joyful Thanksgivings. No, they held
pain, suffering, and screams from warrantless beatings, and illusions of paranoia.
I sat and watched as my mother filled her veins with fire, causing her to attempt to tie
me to the radiator to be scorched by heat and steam emerging from the radiator valve.
Slaps across the face, and lashes from what seemed to be her favorite, an all black, thick
leather spiked tool of torture could easily be seen as normal. The story on this day
would be my departure.
As I sat at our small wooden table that appeared to rock with the slightest shift of the
wind, the smell of grits filled the one bedroom, mildew stained apartment. “Here eat this” she
said as she threw the plastic bowl onto the table with an attitude implying that it was such a
burden. I began to eat, but bit by bit something wasn’t right.
The unpleasant feeling of nausea and my stomach rolling like raging waters signaled I
was about to vomit, but before I could excuse myself, “HRRL” my bowl filled with the
regurgitated contents of my stomach. As if I had done something wrong she commenced to
hitting me and screaming as she forced my face into the bowl, “Eat it, eat it” I screamed as I
lifted my head to grasp for air, my mouth covered in my own vomit.
Like the thunderous sound of God himself returning, I hear “BOOM, BOOM, BOOM”,
“Jane open the door”! It was my next door neighbor, coming to save me once again, but this
time I would not return only to become a ward of the state. The New York Foundling would be
my new home, at least for now.
Over a period of roughly 6 months, I would enter and depart 5 unstable foster homes;

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one in particular was Mrs. Jones, who enforced the rule of no one going to the bathroom after
a certain time no matter how bad you had to go. Many nights I spent lying in bed, agonized as
my bladder swelled to the point I had to relieve myself in the bed were I slept, only to arise in
the morning, and be beaten for peeing in the bed. Also her son Josh who faithfully would get
inebriated and launch his size 50 (at least it appeared to be) work boots at my head every night.
It looked as if everywhere that I went the allure of violence was ever so present.
Now I sat, like a lowly puppy in a pet store window, learning to smile and play into the
emotions of potential foster parents scouring the room searching for the perfect child. This in
all was sort of ironic being that we were all damaged goods. Eventually I was paired with an
older woman and her daughter whom I would later find out, it was the daughter who chose me
not the woman. “How would this turnout” my mind only wondered. Is this it, have I finally been
set free from the plague that haunted me everywhere I stepped foot? Only time would tell, but
one thing that I learned throughout my journey, though I may have been lost, casted into the
sea and battered like ocean waves crashing against the shore; there has always been one
person who didn’t abandon me and I call him GOD.
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