"Foster care is not fun or easy. Its honestly one of the most heartbreaking yet life-changing experiences... Heart breaking in the sense that you are taken away from the only mom you've ever known at odd hours of the night because your neighbors called the police because they heard screaming and yelling and they were pretty sure the kid next door was being abused so the cops call cps (child protective services) and they come and take you away... While , yes, your mother has been beating you senseless and many nights have gone by as you watch her sleep because she's drugged herself, contemplating running away at 8 years old, she is your mother, the only mother you've ever known, and although she hasn't done jack for you, you still love her, and your 8 year old brain cannot comprehend why you're being taken away from her because you are not aware that the way she treats you is not normal, because it’s the only way you know and to you its normal... Life changing I'm the sense that you learn what normal is. (If there is even such a thing as normal)... I did not become a foster kid at 8 years old but that was the first time I was ever taken from my mom... My dad went to prison when I was 7 for rape and DHR had been a thing in my life ever since, I got taken away from my mom the first time when I was 8 because a neighbor reported child abuse and they took me away that night... I went to my aunt’s house but I acted there, so I got sent to trinity hospital... And that's when my journey began... I'm not gonna go into full detail about my life because well its quite depressing instead I'm going to give people advice... Not that I'm the best advice giver but these are my views on foster care and hopefully someone will find them useful... "

Pt. 2

"To foster parents and foster parents to be, if you are not willing to deal with a child's "mental baggage" please do not take any children into your home... Foster children have been through so much neglect and abuse... We have experienced so much pain and heartbreak that we expect it from whoever we come in contact with... When a foster child comes into your home they most likely are not going trust you, they are not gonna want to be in your home and you're going to have issues... It just happens. We come into your home and expect the worst, why, because the worst is we all we know... In my opinion a good foster parent will be patient and while they will not understand what the child is going through unless they've been through it themselves, they will try to empathize with the child. Understand that these children have been through so much... They have seen things that kids their age should never see... Be patient... Talk to them... Try to understand why they act the way they because I promise you, while they may not be willing to talk at first, if you gain their trust, pray for them, if they comfortable with it, pray with them, show them that you care, prove to them you aren't going to give up on them, show them that you won't hurt them, and eventually they will open... All we want is to feel loved... In court and many other places we hear the words that we "ARE NOT WANTED" "Nobody wants 'this child' your honor" do you know how bad those words hurt??? A lot I can tell you that... I'm 20 I will be 21 on May 20th I came into foster care at 11 maybe 12 years old and I cannot count how many times I have heard those words... Do I believe them? I do? Because every foster parent I have ever had has not taken the time to sit down and talk to me. Has not tried to figure out why I have so much hatred in my heart... I should've been brought into foster care when I was born but I wasn't and that's hardly anyone's fault, but 11 years of being abused does a lot to a person emotionally, physically, and mentally. And on top of that many many many foster parents giving up on you and judges, social workers, therapists, telling you that you will be just like your mother doesn't help much either... I age out May 20 2017 and I cannot wait to become a foster parent and show all the future foster kids how truly loved they are and to create many more success stories..."

From a former foster youth who aged out in May.

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