Chapter One – First Five Years
I went into the foster care system with my oldest biological sister because we were severely neglected. I did not learn the specifics, but it was bad enough to be covered on the news in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I went to my first foster home when I was between two and three years old. My sister who I went into foster care with is two years younger than I am, so this move did not affect her in the same way. Our first foster home was meant to be a temporary placement for my sister and I until we went back to our biological family or got adopted.
Being removed from my biological family had a negative impact on my behavior. I had built strong bonds with some members of my biological family, so losing them caused me great pain that manifested itself in the form of anger. One member of my biological family I had strong bonds with was my maternal grandfather. He would give me a lot of attention and I would get very upset anytime he left. The manner I expressed my anger about being separated from my family were not acceptable. This resulted in punishment for me; I was made to stand in the corner.
My biological sister and I moved into our first adoptive home about a year after entering the foster care system. Our parents had their rights terminated and this was a closed adoption, so there was no further contact with our biological family after leaving our first foster home. Our first adoptive parents were amazing people who had their own biological daughter who was older than I was. The anger I developed within the last year intensified further and I became violent towards both of my sisters.
My first adoptive parents tried their best to help me control my anger, but it was too intense for them to handle without professional help. My first adoptive parents tried many different strategies to help me improve before they resorted to professional help.
Steps in My Shoes: The Life of a Foster Child Description:
Steps in My Shoes is a true account of my journey through the foster care system and beyond. Going through four foster homes, two adoptive homes, five behavioral facilities, and battling with reactive attachment disorder (RAD), and sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) certainly taught me a lot.
The abysmal college graduation rate of less than 3% for foster youth did not prevent me from bagging a bachelor’s degree and becoming a licensed teacher. If I could go through all that and still found the courage to become a teacher and author, then I believe other foster youth can too.
Reading this book will totally educate you on what an average child in the foster care system passes through on a daily basis. This intriguing book is a must have for teachers, social workers, foster/adoptive parents, people considering being foster/adoptive parents, and current/past foster and adopted youth.
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