In September I traveled with my 23-year-old son to speak at “Families for Life: Addressing the Needs of Older Children and Youth in Foster Care,” a conference convened by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. James and I were doing a workshop together about the strength of family bonds. Even though James and I were separated by my drug addiction and his adoption, our relationship is growing now.
I hoped that seeing the way my … Read More
This story is reprinted from Represent, a magazine by and for youth in foster care.
For nine years I was always in and out of the system because my mother was heavily addicted to drugs. She would follow the orders of the court to get my brothers and me back, but because she had so little support, she would relapse and lose us.
I wanted to go home and stay home. I loved my mother so much. … Read More
I had always thought I was a good mother even though I used drugs. I gave my daughter, Barbie, food, clothes and a home. I gave her love, too, by holding her and kissing her and playing with her. I would look in amazement at how beautiful she was growing.
But even though all this was true, part of me was kidding myself. When I used drugs, the chemicals altered my mood. I wouldn’t … 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
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