With all of the unpacking we've been doing since moving into our new house, we sometimes come across old stuff that brings back memories. Today, my mom was going through a ton of old paperwork, and she happened to find some papers related to foster care. One paper in particular caught my attention and reminded me of a foster sister who once lived with us.
When I was in second grade, I had a particular sister who was in first grade. I've written about our age rule before, how we only take in kids younger than our youngest family member, but this situation was actually a little different. My brother was in kindergarten, but he wasn't adopted yet. I don't remember the circumstances with taking this foster sister in, but I know that she was a year older than my brother. Once my brother was adopted though, we never took in kids older than he was.
So this foster sister was a year younger than me and a year older than my brother. She was also a lot bigger than my brother was. Unfortunately, her size advantage over my brother put her in a position where she felt more powerful. This foster sister had come to us from what must have been a violent home, because she struggled with violent tendencies. She began to lash out at everyone, but my brother in particular because she was bigger than he was. Having this foster sister in our home was unlike any of our previous placements.
It was so sad to see how hurt this child was. There was nothing we could do to help her get over the violent habits. Apparently my mom was told that this young girl would receive some kind of therapeutic help, but she was never given what she needed. She didn't know how to work through her feelings, so she would lash out. None of my family members knew how to help her, so it was frustrating for my foster sister and for the rest of us.
As difficult as life could get with this foster sister in the house, I also had some beautiful moments with her. We slept on bunk beds in my bedroom, and each night we would share this special connection. We would whisper to one another in the few minutes before falling asleep, sharing stories about how our days had gone. When we were about to fall asleep, I would reach my hand down from the top bunk, and she would reach up from the bottom bunk, and we would grab each others' hands for a few seconds. It was our little way of saying good night and showing our love for each other, and in those moments, she didn't seem like the violent foster sister who desperately needed help that we couldn't give her; she was just my little sister and it was the two of us alone in our room sharing a sweet good night moment together.
Unfortunately, this foster sister's placement with us came to a premature ending. The paper that my mom found today was a letter that she had to write to someone in D.S.S. asking for them to find this child another foster home. We had done everything we could for this child, and it hadn't been enough. My parents had to look out for their other children, which meant that they needed to remove the violence from the home. It was very sad to see this foster sister leave, but we were eventually able to find some closure with her. We ran into her during a pumpkin picking outing a few years later, and she was doing wonderfully. She was happy, and had a big smile on her face, and she gave us all a big hug hello. She had no hard feelings toward us, and it was clear that she had finally received the help that she needed. It was great to see that she had gotten a happy ending, even if it meant that we had to let her go in order for her to receive it.
Thank you so much for your continued support! I look forward to sharing more stories about my experience with foster care, and hopefully hearing from readers who have questions or similar stories to share. I'm always willing to answer questions and hear about other experiences! Please don't forget to like and share my Facebook author page as well!
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