A Foster Care Story
This is the story of Hope. Follow along as a little girl enters the foster care system and provides insight into one of many foster youth stories.
Once Upon a Time…
From the Eyes of a Child in Foster Care
The air was chilly that Saturday morning. I could hear my mom on the phone with Miss Cindy talking about taking me somewhere. Miss Cindy is our case worker. She started coming around when my mom felt too tired and needed help taking care of me. I was sitting on the porch steps picking at the chipped paint on the railing. I could feel the warm sun on my face as I closed my eyes to enjoy the heat.
“Hope! Breakfast is ready!” I stand up and head inside to see my mom putting plate after plate of all my favorite breakfast foods on the table. She must not be feeling so tired and sad anymore! The smell of bacon reached my nose as I sat down. I hungrily scan the plates in front of me – pancakes, bacon, and fruit are piled high and ready to enter my growling tummy.
After breakfast, mom suggests we play outside to burn off the extra energy from our full bellies. We played tag and passed a football for the whole afternoon. As the hours pass and we near dinnertime, my mom tells me to go inside and do some homework for school. My mom is there to help me whenever I get stuck on a tricky math problem.
I head to the bathroom to shower before dinner. Saturday dinners are almost always chicken nuggets and mac and cheese, my absolute favorite. After eating and cleaning up the dirty dishes, mom and I watch a movie together before bed. As she tucks me in and kisses my forehead, I think about how happy I am that she is finally feeling better so we can have more days like this.
“Hope, come inside, please.” My eyes snap open, and I realize I was only dreaming. I look across the street at my friend Faith’s house and see their family is packing up to go camping. I like to watch them sometimes and wonder if mom and I will ever go on adventures like they do.
Miss Cindy is waiting for me when I get inside and tells me to grab my packed bag and teddy bear. A really nice family will watch me for a little bit while my mom goes somewhere to feel better. I give my mom a big hug before climbing into Miss Cindy’s car. My mom sadly waves goodbye. I’m really going to miss her, but she told me that she loves me bunches and I’ll have lots of fun with this other family. I can’t wait until she feels better so I can come home.
Meeting My Foster Mom…For the Very First Time
By the time I arrive at the new house, it’s already pretty dark outside. I met my foster mom, Kara. She seems nice and has a pretty smile. She told me she liked my teddy bear and was very excited to get to know me better. I like Kara, but I miss my mom and just want to sleep. She shows me to my room, and I squeeze my bear tight as my eyes close.
I wake up to the smell of bacon drifting under my bedroom door. When I go out to the kitchen, Kara has made breakfast for the other kids and me! Pancakes, bacon, and fruit are piled high, just like my dream. I have to pinch my arm to be sure this is really happening. As I sit down and load up my plate, I can’t help but wonder why my mom doesn’t cook like this anymore.
I ask Kara why my mom is always so tired and doesn’t make me breakfast like this. “Life is hard, and sometimes people need a little extra help to feel better again. But your mom loves you and is working hard to feel better so she can take care of you again.” Kara explained it to me with a soft smile while I finished eating.
I love my mom and I know this time apart won’t be forever. I feel thankful for Miss Cindy and Kara. I’m glad they’re helping my mom by keeping me safe. As I play outside with the other kids and the sun shines warmly on my face, I am filled with one thing. HOPE.
Written in collaboration with a University of Cincinnati student.
Become a Foster Parent
NewPath serves children, from birth to age 21, who have been abused or neglected and need a stable home. We have an exceptional network of foster families located in counties across Southwestern Ohio, but many children still need foster families.
We offer both therapeutic & traditional foster care. Foster parents receive special training to help children heal from their cognitive and behavioral issues. Although this is a challenging task, the reward is great!
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