I'm Angry: Entering Foster Care From a Child's Perspective

I’m Angry! And sad, and scared, and skeptical....

One morning, I woke up to a celebration. I was told it was my birthday, but I knew it wasn’t. It was July. I was born in December.

My family bought me a cake. They kept saying it was my birthday. I was skeptical, but I liked eating the yummy cake they bought for me. It made me feel special.

A little while after I had eaten my cake and some potato chips, a lady I had never met before came to my house. She put me and my little brother in her van. Her van said “Social Services” on the side of it. I couldn’t read yet, but that’s what I was told.

She talked to my Mom, my Grandmothers and my Aunt who had let us stay with her since April.

The lady carried a few large black trash bags to her van. I think those were full of all of our stuff. 

I screamed as I left, reaching out, calling out for my family. I didn’t want to go with this strange lady. Why did I have to leave?

My little brother was only seven months old. He didn’t even know what was happening. I was three and a half. I didn’t know what was happening either, but I knew enough to feel so many emotions that I didn’t like feeling.

After a long drive, the lady got out of the van and rang the doorbell at another house. I wasn’t sure what would happen next.

A tall man came out to get my little brother from his car seat. A short woman came out to meet me. She talked softly. I couldn’t hear her. She told me her name and asked what my name was. I glared at her. I was angry.

She asked if she could help me out of the van. I let her.

When I walked into their home, I saw a green frog with really long arms and really long legs and a very soft pink blanket waiting for me in a chair they said could be mine.

I heard the lady tell the man and the woman that I didn’t like to eat green beans and that I would need to take my inhaler two times a day. 

She handed the man and the woman a box of baby food for my brother and some diapers.

They talked for a little while, and then she left. My brother and I did not leave. We stayed with this man and this woman who I had never met before in my life.

I felt sad. I felt scared. I felt skeptical.

The man went to get lunch for us. We had chicken fingers for lunch that day, I remember. They were so good. I liked to eat. We all sat at the table together. We said our prayers. I offered to pray. The man and the woman seemed to have tears in their eyes when I finished my prayers. I was ready to eat though, so I didn’t say much.

My little brother was in his swing, right beside us at the table. He was fast asleep. He seemed happy. He didn’t feel what I felt. I could tell. 

The man and the woman seemed to care about me. They asked me questions about myself. It felt strange to me to stay with people I didn’t know. I slept with Mr. Froggy. His long arms and long legs hugged me tight at night while I slept.

My little brother cried a lot through the night.

 The next day, the man and the woman took us to the Dr. We were very sick. We had bug bites on our faces, upper respiratory infections, ear infections and ring worm. I didn’t know what any of that was, but I heard them talking about it during our doctor’s visit.

The man and the woman gave us medicine to help us feel better. 

I missed my Mommy.

I was allowed to talk to my Mommy on the phone three times a week, and see her one time a week for two hours.

We used to meet at a library.  

After our visits, I would scream at the man and the woman for not letting me go home. I would tell them they were not my Mommy and my Daddy. I would kick the back of their seat while they drove me to their house. I sometimes rocked back and forth and cried “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy,” over and over again. Sometimes I made my little brother scared and he cried too. 

Why did I have to go home with the man and the woman? Why couldn’t I go home with my Mommy?

I had such big emotions for a little girl. I was just three and a half. I started hitting and kicking the man and the woman. I hit the walls, and the doors and the floors and one time I tried kicking my little brother in the head. I was, I guess, just really really angry.

A few weeks later, the woman took me to meet a person who had a huge playroom. She was nice. She let me play with any toy I wanted. The woman called this, “Play Therapy”. I really liked my therapist.

I heard the woman talk about my rage fits and tantrums with my therapist. I felt bad for being so mean and angry, but I didn’t know how to stop feeling those big emotions.

Over time, I found out that the man and the woman were my Foster Parents. I also learned that my Mommy and Daddy had a few puzzle pieces they were looking for. They were supposed to be putting our family puzzle back together, while I was safe in my Foster Parent’s home.  

After nine months of living with my Foster Parents, my birth parents asked my Foster Parents to be my new Mommy and Daddy; my Forever Family. They cried because they were so happy. 

My new Mommy and Daddy loved me and my brother so much. They wanted to adopt us. We changed our last names to my new Mommy and Daddy’s last name. That was hard for me at first, but now I am really proud of my new last name.

We had a huge adoption celebration where nearly ninety people came to our home. It was a really big deal. We felt so much love. There was a big water slide and I got to eat a cupcake. I had so much fun. 

I still feel angry sometimes, especially when I do not get my way. 

 I’m five now. I have learned to trust again. “It just takes time”, that’s what my Mommy tells me. We’re both learning. 

Tonight, my Mommy said to me, “Let’s keep these books on the top of your bookshelf, they’re the ones about Adoption.” I quickly, added, and LOVE? She said, “That’s right. Adoption AND LOVE.” She hugged me so tight and kissed my cheek so many times. She told me how much she loved me. I know she does. I love her too. 

I think of my birth parents often. I talk about them to my new Mom and Dad. They listen. They seem to care about what I have to say. They want me to tell them anything I want to tell them. They say that will help me feel better when I feel sad.

I’m not scared or skeptical anymore. Sometimes I’m still angry, and sometimes I’m still sad. My new Mommy and Daddy’s love for me is helping me heal. I’m so thankful I have them to guide me and to be my Forever Family.