Foster Culture

November 22, 2007

A personal story…

Filed under: foster parents,foster teens,Foster youth,life,me,personal — fosterculture @ 4:27 am

Since I never was able to really connect with a family while in foster care, the family structure/environment is uncomfortable for me. Which makes the whole holiday time of year a little difficult for me.

So for Thanksgiving day, instead of putting myself through the torture of trying to fit in and play the holiday family day, I’m going to a group home I work at sometimes for teenage girls in foster care that are pregnant or already have children. One girl I know that lives there is 16 and pregnant with her second child and is due December 2nd. She has no where to go for the holiday, so I’m going to her. Yes, a few people have said that that is very thoughtful and kind of me, but in reality, it is not that altruistic. Being in that setting, with other people that have no where else to go, that is my comfort zone. I know I will not feel out of place or intrusive the entire time I am there. Places like that is where I spent all my holidays growing up and they were rarely with the same people for more that one or two years in a row.

I have children now and am happy to spend the holidays with them, but when it comes time to visit  the family they have on their dad’s side, I am unable to participate. Sometimes I feel bad about it, but then I remember, that’s just me.

One of my favorite books is titled Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons. It is about a girl that goes to live in a foster home and so she renames herself Ellen Foster. I like that.

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October 16, 2007

Foster Culture, wah?

Foster Culture, wah?

I was in the foster care system for 18 years of my life before I was emancipated by a judge on my eighteenth birthday. In that 18 years, I lived in countless foster homes, residential facilities, group homes, transitional living programs, hospitals and even juvenile detention. Running away was just part of who I was a teenager and demanding to be moved for little or no reason was standard.

I am now an adult and work with older foster youth. There are many things that have come to light through this job. The dysfunction of the foster care system, the subculture of foster youth and even the grave statistics that they face when entering adulthood.

Through this blog, I will retell my own stories and those of people I lived with while in care, enter injustices as I see them, statistical facts and mostly, information about the subculture of foster youth. The last for the important reason that it is a subject I have never been able to read about and one that I am very much a part of. People that have lived in foster care think differently, relate to others differently and survive differently.

I will say this, I am not a writer by nature. I am going to put it down in the most real way that I can and hope that it all makes sense.  Word.

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