Overwhelmed by Response

Though I have responded to comments left on my blog entries until today I had not figured out how to use some aspects of this site.

I was overwhelmed when for the first time I saw the statistics of the viewership of my blog. I cannot believe in just six days that over 1000 people have viewed some portion of my blog.

I never thought my simple words would draw this type of audience.

I do much writing, as I have for several years, which has primarily served as a sort of therapy for me. I realized years ago that there were many issues and emotions from my past that I had buried deep within myself hopefully never to see the light of day again.

I thank those who have visited, commentd, posted links to my blog or have even personaly E mailed me with such gracious words. Your words have touched my heart!

I am heartened that by my sharing the pain as well as the joys of my past has in some small way proven helpful to others. To be able to help myself while at the same time be helpful to others is more than I could have hoped for when I began this blog six days ago.

I also see, not surprisingly, that most the traffic has been to entries talking about birth parents, search & reunions, etc. and to a lesser degree entries dealing with foster care.

I have belonged to numerous messageboards the past six years or so and have found activities amongst them show this same trend. There is far less activity on the issue of foster care. This is probably due to the fact that most former foster alumni would rather put their years in care behind them.

I am probably different than most foster youth in that I was entered into care upon the day of my birth and remained a part of the system for eighteen years. I never knew my birth family until I began searching for them at age thirty-two…thus, I can very much relate to the experience of many adoptees and birth parents as I have gone throgh many of their emotions and pain.

As I continue to write entries to this blog I will keep in mind that I am not only writing for myself but also and pray that my continued writings will prove beneficial for others. You have made my writings thus far worth the time and effort. 

Peace!

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A Letter to Presidential Candidates

The following letter is being sent today to each of the major presidential candidates. I am a registered independent and this issue and how a candiate addresses it will be one factor used by me in considering who I will support:

 Dear Presidential Candiate:

There are thousands of American children who are in desperate need for our leaders to “defend their lives”. Over 500,000 currently reside in our nation’s foster care system…123,000 lanquish in he system while currently eligable for adoption. 

American children are being abused and neglected in record numbers. It is outrageously despicable that in a great country such as ours these innocent lives are not being protected. There are American children who are suffering abuse repeatedly. It appears that “parental rights” gives someone the right to abuse, neglect, and molest our littlest victims.
 
Many of these children are placed in foster homes to have their broken bodies, minds and hearts mended by loving foster parents, only to be returned over and over again to their abusers. Many are eventually
murdered.

It is time a fierce stand is taken to protect these innocent lives. Current laws are not effective in preventing violence against children. Current laws do not give children in foster care the stability and permanency they so deserve. Current laws do not do what our children need them to do, protect them and consider their best interest. There is a need for laws and regulations to provide safe, loving, nurturing environments for our children to live and thrive in.

Many, many foster care children are never adopted, many of them age out of the system. They age out of the foster care system into our prison systems, homeless etc. This is because after being repeatedly abused, neglected, and reunited with their perpetrators they are so severely traumatized that they become mentally ill.

The federal government has in the past used incentives such as bonuses to the states for the adoption of foster children over the age of nine. These children need adopted in their early years. They are hardened by the very system set-up to protect them. By the time these children are nine years old it is hard to find families willing to adopt a child who has numerous behaviors issues. Issues that they developed by the trauma they suffered while in the “system”.

Over the years there have been token changes to the laws, regulations, and other governmental acts that were suppose to protect abused and neglected children. None of these have made a meaningful or useful change for the children. Children are still languishing in foster care. Children are still being reunited with their abusers only to be returned to the broken foster care system, time and time again. When are we going to “defend their lives”?

I the undersigned had my life touched forver by the foster care system. I was thrust into on the day of my birth and remained until I aged out. I went through sixteen moves, sexual abuse and other humiliations during those years. The last move was being thrust onto the streets to fend for myself when I reached eighteen.

I am not a one issue voter. However, this is one of the main issues I will be looking at and how you as a candiate will address it. I don’t want the usual political spinning, more studies or commissions. I want proposals with action to correct what I consider to be a national crisis.

I urge you to consider legislation, if nominated or elected, to our Representatives and our Senators to make unprecedented changes that are “in the child’s best interest”. The current system of “state run systems” have failed these youth. I believe that if the foster care system was a federally ran system there would be more consistency and uniformity in the protection of the United States foster children. We need action now, before more innocent lives are lost.

Will you please “stand on my side” as I and others “defend” these little lives we so desperately want to protect?

I will be listening and reading for your reply on this issue.

Sincerely,

A Concerned Former Foster Youth

Who Are We?

We are the sometimes unjustly placed or abused, neglected, abandoned or relinquished at birth.

We are bounced from place to place, with memories that walk the night alone, nor is the love ours that we must embrace. We sometimes slip through the cracks and get shuffled around unnoticed and forgotten.

We are always living on the outside looking in. We think when we are little everyone is the same; only to find out we are treated different, not because of who we are but rather what we are.

We live in a world of never knowing; where we will live, who will take care of us, where we will go to school, We never know if we will ever be secure again, where home is or where we belong.

We have no friends as we are never in one place long enough to make them. We don’t know what it feels like to attend the same school more than a year or so.

We are always movable once we have no home to call our own. A home is not just a place to lay our head. A home is where we can stay, where we can be comfortable, where we know we will always be safe and secure.

Once we get used to all the moving and different schools we somehow find within ourselves a space to furnish as we would our room, finding scraps of things we can embrace.

Then we can at least become comfortable knowing we are alone, knowing we are the only one who is going to look out for us. We become known as a loner. We depend on nobody but ourselves, yet this causes more problems.

We build up brick walls and don’t let anyone in. Once the walls are in place it takes so much to take them down. If they start to come down and something happens we put them back up higher than they were before. Each time we get hurt the walls get higher and higher. We can lose so much time keeping those walls up high and strong.

We trust no one, build bond with no one; this makes it hard to build a relationship with anyone. If we are lucky enough to find someone who is willing to fight for us, we still can not totally depend on them, which hurts them. We see the hurt in their eyes, which in return hurts us even more. The hurt only causes more pain and starts the walls going back up or we run and keep on running, from one relationship to another.

Our childhood is almost impossible to trace.

Our losses etched upon our face and within our eyes, pain for which no penance can atone. How can we be forced to move and move from place to place, surrendering the love we must embrace?

We are enigma tangled up in a mystery. We are the lost puzzle pieces swept under the rug. We are a missing link in a chain of life. We have no roots. We are tumbleweed blown in the wind calling home where ever the breeze takes us. We are a chameleon changing colors to blend into our surroundings.

At some point we may be declared “legal orphans” waiting for special people to remove us from the merry go round our lives have been forced to continually circle.

At eighteen we are moved once again; basically thrown out on the streets as the system “washes their hands of us” whether we have gained a support system or not. Even those who get some assistance, usually get it in the form of being taught how to survive at the minimum level. There’s no emphasis on breaking the cycle of poverty, getting an education, doing something with our lives.

The system let us raise ourselves; a few of us get lucky, have people that care and help us along the way. The difference between those who make it and those who don’t can be as simple as one encouraging word at the right time.

Yet, somehow despite what we have been through, some of us survive with a peculiar grace, even though our hearts should turn to stone as we are moved about from place to place. Many do not!

Who are we?

We are foster children!

This is our lives!

Today over 500,000 of us reside in some form of foster care. Thousands of us have already been declared “legal orphans” but no one comes forward to have us as your son or daughter. Many of us will one day be cast into the streets to make it on our own.

Is there anyone out there to stop the merry go round?
Is there anyone out there who will give us a forever home? Is there anyone out there who will help us break down the walls surrounding us? Is there anyone out there that will love and care for us and allow us to call you “Mom and Dad?”

We are foster children waiting! We are “nobody’s” children!