Short But Sweet This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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One day my mother explained foster care to me since I didn’t know very much about it. I did know it involved taking in children who were less fortunate than us, but that was about it. She told me not to get too excited, because we still had to convince my father. It took awhile, but he finally cracked; we were going to be a foster family!

My parents attended class after class every week to learn about foster parenting. Finally, the classes ended and we were ready. Then we found out about two little boys and a girl who needed a temporary home. Their father was in court when the social worker called, and she was 90 percent sure we would get these children. Then she called again and said that the Department of Social Services didn’t have custody of them, so they couldn’t come to live with us. It was a letdown after our excitement had built up, but I ­believe it happened for a reason.

Later that afternoon, I couldn’t take my mind off those three kids. I was telling myself, They are supposed to be here. Why would she let us down like that? Just then, the phone rang. A little boy who had lived with his mother and uncle needed a home. My excitement ­returned even more than before.

When William finally arrived, it was obvious that he was a jovial kid. When you asked his name, you couldn’t help but smile at his reply. “Weeyum,” he said in his high, squeaky voice. William and I grew very close; I took him with me everywhere. We went rollerblading, to the deli, and out for walks. My friends became fond of him as well. The day he left was one of the saddest days of my life. But we had to let him go ­because his mother was out of rehab and could take him back. It was hard but it was definitely worth having William in our home, even for that short period of time.

A couple of months later, we were ready to take in another child. Bridgette was a little over a year old. She lived with her mother and grandmother who had drug and alcohol problems. She was not at all what I expected ­after William. She cried all the time. She hit, kicked, and pushed, and I did not like her. I know you’re probably thinking, How can you not like a little kid? But if you met her, you would feel the same way. But after a few months, Bridgette’s behavior improved and I started getting as close with her as I had with William. A year later, we still had Bridgette. Her mother and grandmother were given many chances to sober up but didn’t, and Bridgette was put up for adoption.

Today she lives with a very nice family in the next town, and we talk to her on the phone. It was hard for her to warm up to her new parents, but they soon found out, as we did, that having Bridgette was a blessing. My family is very thankful for William and Bridgette, and we are so glad they lived with us for those short, sweet, periods of time.

Through fostering, I got to learn the ups and downs of being a big sister. It was tough but worth it. They changed our lives, and hopefully we changed theirs as well. I like to think that we might have even saved them from ­going down the wrong path in life.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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cjc408 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 12:08 pm
Fostering is a great way to help out the less fortunate. I would do this if I could. It might be scary at first, but I'm sure it's easy to get used to. Children who are in foster care don't know what it's like to have a real family because they bounce around from one to another. Hopefully the houses they do stay in though, are stable enough to support them.
 
Lawlzlollipop said...
Jun. 5, 2009 at 3:36 am
This is so cute you did an awesome job <333
 
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