Ben entered foster care at only six months old. He was in and out until adopted as a teenager. In this blog, he talks about how kids in care crave love regardless of how that looks outwardly.
I was too young to remember exactly when I entered care – no more than six months old.
From there, I was back and forth between my biological mother and the system. The third time around, my mother’s parental rights were terminated and the fourth time I was supposed to be adopted by my Godmother but she couldn’t keep me. My mother chose drugs over her kids, was abusive, dated abusive men, and eventually chose a man over all of us and dropped us off for the final time at DSS. The last time was the worst. When I got out of foster care, my Godmother decided she wanted to take me in but it only lasted a month before she could not handle me anymore. She was never home and I was only seen as a problem. She called my social worker and put me back in foster care again until my brother and I were adopted as teenagers. At that point, I had lived in 23 homes. I was afraid, defensive, aggressive, and lonely. I felt abandoned by my own family.
I now realize that the system wanted what was best for me despite what I felt they wanted when I was immersed in it. I definitely think that deeper investigations need to be done on people who want to foster to ensure that it is for the right reasons.
Kids in care just want love, but because of what we have gone through, it sometimes comes out in ugly ways. I would encourage foster parents or those that want to foster to love your foster children with your whole heart and do not ignore their past because it will only stall their healing. Not all foster children are broken beyond repair – give them a chance!
When I decided to stop fighting the system and start working with it through volunteering with nonprofit organizations such as Mercy For America’s Children, I found a bright future and so many blessings to look up to. My greatest blessing is finding Jesus in the ruins of my past. He has rewritten my story and I look forward to the day when I can share what He has done with others.
As soon as I turn 21, I plan to start fostering. I pray that my story brings light to those who are looking for a sign from God to give to others. I also hope it sheds light to kids in the system that a brighter day is coming and that all they have to do is keep fighting. I want to thank the Archibald Project for giving me a platform to share my story publicly!
– Ben, Former Foster Youth