The first time I went into foster care I was seven years old. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I was in over seven foster care and group home placements. As I look back at those years, it feels like a mixture of good and bad experiences.
One of the most difficult parts of foster care was not knowing what was going to happen to me. There was always a sense of uncertainty and confusion. I often felt scared and alone. It would be hard for any child to go through the foster care system. Being separated from my siblings was painful part of being in foster care. I was the oldest in my family followed by my brother and baby sister.
Some of my experiences in the foster care system were positive. When I was eight years old, I was placed in a wonderful and nurturing foster home. This foster mom showed us love, patience, and kindness – all of the things a child needs. It felt like a real home to me. We each had household chores. I learned about cleaning, cooking, and laundry. She told me when I grew up I would have a family, and that I would be a good mom. It was so important to me that she took the time to listen and explain things in a way that I could understand. She talked to me about my mom, and why she could not take are of us. That was the first time I remember someone explaining the situation to me. I was behind all of the other students in school. My classmates called me retarded and teased me about being in foster care. My foster mom said that I just learned differently, at a different pace. She gave me huge support. If I saw her today, I would give her a big hug.
Looking back at my experiences, there were many things that I wish had been different for me. I learned a lot from my experiences in the foster care system.
I am now the mother of four children, and having my own kids has taught me a lot about life. I used to say that when I have my own kids I do not want them to go through what I have been through in my life. I do not want them to grow up in the foster care system. The best place for them is with me, as a part of a family. They are the most important part of my life, and I want to be the best parent that I can be. That is why I continue to take parenting classes and receive support. Most of all, I know now, I am a good mom.