When I applied to become a parent advocate at a foster agency in New York City, I feared I wasn’t ready. I was on public assistance and had never held a 9-to-5 job. But I knew that parents dealing with the foster care system needed support and tough love from people like me—parents who were once in their shoes.
My own two girls had gone into foster care because I was drinking. For about three years … Read More
On March 25, 2004, after my daughter had been in care for three years, the judge released her to her father and me on a trial discharge. That meant that we’d be supervised by a preventive services agency for a year. I found an agency right down the block from me and met my new preventive worker. His name was Rene and he was Mexican, like me. As I got to know him and found … Read More
In rehab, everyone would intro- duce themselves like, “I’m so- and-so and I’m an addict,” but I didn’t believe I was an alcoholic, so I would say,
“I’m Rosita,” and that would be that.
Then one day the director of my rehab group asked me, “Do you love your children?”
“Yes, I do, very much,” I told him.
“No, you don’t,” he replied.
“How can you stand there and tell me I don’t love my chil- dren?”
“Because if you did … Read More
When I was little I would sit in my room and wonder why my life was not like other children’s. I would see kids with their parents, doing things that my mother would not do with me, like going to the park and shop- ping, and I would feel sad.
My mother and I did those things together when I was very young. But once I got a little older she would just come and go.
My … Read More
I tried many times to remove crack from my life. It was hard, very hard, because it was all around. My sister got high. My neighbors got high. Yes, I lived in the projects. With all 21 floors, I could get high in at least 15 different apartments.
People would come to my house asking me to get high with them, or yell from the window, “Robin, come upstairs for a minute.” Temptation would lead me … Read More