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Hard Goodbyes

Roman. An autistic foster child, behind in her learning skills. She screamed to get what she wanted. Slowly we fixed her. She became normal. She became a child.

Her family life consisted of her four year old sister watching her and her little brother, with no attention from the mom. The dad wasn’t in the picture. The mom was a drug addict and left her children alone while they slept to get her next high. Child services asked us to take in Roman until her mom could have her in rehab.

The only thing Roman felt she could control was what she ate. Macaroni, pizza, candy and ice cream. Her diet. No meat, no nutrition, no discipline. Dinner was a challenge to get her to eat what was being served. She screamed, but ignoring her didn’t come easy. She didn’t know how to use her words. If she screamed, we told her to use her words or she wouldn’t get what she wanted. It took all of us throwing a fake fit at the table for her to realize she was getting nowhere.

She left two months later to go live with her mom in rehab. At that point she was a normal two year old. She ate what was put in front of her, she used her manners and she could talk. The anti social two year old became a normal one. We cried as the social worker took the once unruly child back to her mom.

A hug, a goodbye, tears, her smile. She was excited to see the person who treated her horribly. I felt like an older sister as she walked away. I see her now and then. She knows me and still loves me.

Those months taught me to be patient .If I give something time it will work out. Roman taught me more than I taught her. I’m lucky to have the things I have. From the time she stepped into our house, I became this person. This is what she taught me. And this experience and greater patience, compassion and understanding is what I will bring with me.





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