An Open Letter to Foster Children
edited: Thursday, January 26, 2006
By Lawrence P Adams
Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2004
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A hopeful positive letter to children within the foster care system of America. They are presented with so much negative...it's time they received a little positive.
Dear Fellow Foster Children~
I know you may feel your life is currently in turmoil,
not in a place you really consider your home or
awaiting a final decision on a new place to call home.
You probably at times feel like you are alone in the
world, that no one else has or is going through what
you currently are. You may feel that no one can
possibly understand or know what you are going
through. In most situations your case worker or foster
parents have never been in foster care so you think
"no you don't know what I am going through."
In most situations your feelings about others knowing
what you feel, understanding your feeling etc. are
probably true .
I, however, can tell you straight forward that I do
know what you are going through, I do know many of the
things you are feeling and understand them. I
know...because I have been exactly where you are
today. As many young say today, "Been there...done
I was a foster child from the day of my birth until I
aged out of the system at age eighteen. There is very
little you could share with me that I myself have not
I have felt alone, I have felt depressed, I have felt
that no one understood, I have felt no one really
cared about me and yes...I have even wondered if it
was worth living.
You are not as unique as you think you might be. In
matter of fact there are many thousands who, besides
myself, have been exactly where you are at.
I am here to tell you that you can overcome ALL of
this. If I can...I know you can!
I do not know why you are in foster care. It might be
the same as me...from birth, it might be because of
troubles within your home that requires you to be out
of your home for a short or long term basis, it may
even be because of something that you did wrong for
others to feel you needed a temporary outside the home
situation or finally it might be that you are awaiting
a new family to become your Mom and Dad.
It does not matter why you are in foster care. What is
important is how you come out of foster care.
I know many aspects of the foster care system makes
you feel that you might be of no value, that you can
not be a success and many other negative attributes.
This is absolutely not true !
I felt many times while in foster care and being moved
from one home to another the same feelings many of you
are having. But I have been able to overcome them and
so can you!
YOU are of value! You can hold your head up proudly!
You can be whatever you choose to be!
Yes, even those of you who may have done something
wrong to get placed within the foster system...you can
overcome this mistake, it can become something of the
past. All of us have made a mistake is our lives, even
more than one, but we learned from our mistakes and
moved forward. You can do this as well. You need to
begin making those changes today.
Your foster parents do care about you and what happens
to you, whether you are in your current home for a
short term or a longer time. They would not be foster
parents if they did not care about children and want
to help. No, they are not in foster care for the money
they receive to assist in your care. In many
situations your foster parents will spend far more
than what they receive.
I will not say no foster parent will not do wrong.
Yes, as in every situation in life there may be a bad
one. This is true also with biological/adoptive
parents as well. If one does neglect you or do you
harm in any way then you must report it. Please make
sure any allegation you make however is in fact true .
Do not make allegations just because of how they may
have felt it necessary to discipline you one day and
you get angry at them. Never, ever make a false
Honor, respect and obey your foster parents. They do
in fact have your best interest at heart. Whether you
are with them for a short time or longer time they
will do the best they can for you. You need to honor,
respect and obey them in return.
I know most of you wish that you were not be in
foster care. That you would be home either with your
Mom and Dad or an adoptive family. That may or may not
come some day. You must make the very best of your
situation. I ended up aging out of the system. I never
had a permanent Mom and Dad all the time I was growing
up. Despite this I hope I have become a person any Mom
and Dad could have been proud of. That is my hope for
each and everyone of you as well.
I know you can do it! Study hard, work hard, know that
you have self-worth not only to yourself but to others
and you can reach for the highest of goals, don't let
anyone convince you otherwise!
If I can...I know you can!
© 2004 Lawrence P. Adams
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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|Reviewed by Betty Torain
|Hi Lawrence, I'm glad I found your article. I found it quite interesting and, true. I was never a foster child but, I did a lot of work with children in group-homes and residential care. I was able to stand for the care of children and it was a positive experience. Thanks for sharing. I never lost one child. Thank God! Betty Torain|
|Reviewed by Debra Conklin
|Larry, what a touching letter! Several of my closest friends were either foster mothers or was a child of a mother who took in foster children. They would never have changed a thing! Susan loved being a foster sister and has had many, many foster sisters and brothers (whom she calls simply sister or brother) and Tammy has raised many children that have called her mom over the years. Tammy says it is one of the most fulfilling jobs she has ever had. Foster parenting can be successful and that there are just as many happy foster homes as there are horrible ones. It takes a special person to be willing to be a parent to other children outside your own and I've been fortunate to call these people my friends. Thank you for sharing your story, Larry.