Become a Fan
Now I am a Foster Child
By Barbara Ann Bishop
Tuesday, January 15, 2002
I should've known someone was going to find out sooner or later about
what it was really like living in my home. People can't come to school every
day with bruises and expect people not to notice. I am really kind of relieved in
a way. It means I won't have to lie anymore or pretend the abuse will go away. If
for no other reason, this alone gives me hope that things will get better.
Just listen to them in there discussing my future as if I am not present.
My opinion matters very little to them. The social worker is the most frustrating
of all! " They need an environment free from abuse. Therefore, I recommend
foster homes for these girls."
Yeah, right lady! You're not the one that has to live in one, so that's
easy for you to say! What is going to happen to me and my sisters? The Lord only
knows what is in store for us . Do these people even want us in their home? Do they
have enough love to include us in their family?
My nerves can't take much more today. I haven't eaten all day and my stomach
is too twisted in knots for me to even bother trying. I tense up, every muscle frozen,
as the office door opens,
Miss Social Worker puts on what I am sure is her best now-don't-you-be-afraid
look. " You don't have to go back home, Barbara. Bring what school supplies and
homework you need and follow me."
" Are my sisters coming with me?"
" One of your sisters will live in the same foster home with you, and the other two
will go to another home in the Children's Village."
WHAT? Not only do I loose my father, but they split up what family I do have
left? Well. this is another bitter pill to swallow! What else could possible happen today
to top this?
Whatever! I have learned to pretend that everything is okay. Actually, I am quite
good at it! My turn to put on my best everything-is-fine smile and drag my feet as I
follow Miss Social Worker to her car.
So many questions tumble around in my mind on the silent ride to the Children's
Village. The only sounds to break the silence is the occasional whoosh of the wind
through the open window and the crunch of gravel underneath the car wheels as we drive
across the gravel road. Will they be kind enough to treat us as human beings? Will my
father miss us? After all, we never told him what went on when he was away at work. None
of it is his fault. He never hit us! No, not even one time! Does everyone at school know
what happened? None of the popular kids will have anything to do with me now that I
am a foster child. There, I said it! Foster child! Foster child! Foster child! Can't get
that thought out of my head!
At the Village five houses are place in a semi-circle, each house within a football-
field length of each other. A group of children stop what they are doing to stare at
the car as we drive up. I keep my head down to avoid looking at anyone. I just
need a few minutes to stop the chills that make my teeth chatter and my whole
body shiver in the middle of May, as if it is dead winter!
I don't know why I suddenly hate the social worker...but I do! I try to
convince myself that she is only doing her job. But it doesn't help much. I will at
least call her by her name, not just Miss Social Worker. I guess she is trying to help.
As I come to this conclusion, the voice of a tall slender girl who seems to be my age,
causes me to look up.
" Hello, Mrs. Schoolcraft. I'm glad you brought someone my age this time."
" I am glad you have someone to talk to now. Lisa, this is Barbara. She
will be staying here now. Why don't you two get to know each other, while I talk
to the Foster parents?"
I listened to Lisa tell her story. I just couldn't bring myself to talk about myself
yet without crying. I will keep it in for awhile. I will have to learn a whole new way
of life with a different family. Maybe my turn to tell my story will be when the next
new girl makes it out here to the Children's Village.
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|Reviewed by Jennie Hinkley
|This was great and meaningful. I speak as a former foster child.|