Posts tagged ‘unwanted’
This morning i woke up and was really bummed. I was crying throughout the night and i felt the hangover and exhaustion of having no more tears. I felt the need to hang out with Moonlight today. So i looked around and managed to scratch together $4.53, which i put into my pocket. I grabbed a blanket, Moonlight’s carrot squeaky toy and put them in a backpack; put on two sweatshirts, grabbed my jacket and headed out the door with Moonlight. Then me and Moonlight headed to the park.
As we walked to the park, i passed several “FOR RENT” signs at which time i realized that “FOR RENT” is perfect to describe kids in foster care.
“FOR RENT” means you pay to stay
“FOR RENT” means something that is used temporarily
“FOR RENT” means its not yours, it belongs to someone else
“FOR RENT” = PAY TO STAY
Foster kids come with a check. The state pays the foster parents for the kids to stay, just like in a rental situation, where you pay a landlord to stay in their place. The money is supposed to be used for the child; for food, clothing, things that the child needs. But, just like crappy landlords, who take your money and never use it to improve or fix your apartment…. there are crappy foster parents who never use the money for the child or who only use part of it for the child. Just like bad landlords who make money by never fixing anything, there are bad foster parents who make money off foster kids, by packing their home with as many kids as possible and not using the money for the children, but using it for themselves. It happens. Many foster parents don’t make money; and the good ones probably spend money…..but the reality is the kids “pay to stay.”
“FOR RENT” = TEMPORARY
Many time foster parents want to adopt. They are looking to give a “forever home” to some lucky child. Sometimes parents “try out a child” before making the permanent commitment. Sometimes they “rent” before they “buy.” When I was in foster care, sometimes I was “rented” for a short time, like a couple weeks or a couple months….and sometimes I was “rented” for a long time….lots of months or a couple years. Maybe I was being tried out, maybe I was always temporary. But none of it was EVER permanent. It was always a temporary place and a temporary situation.
My life is made up of places and families that were never really mine. Something that is “FOR RENT” is never yours, it always belongs to someone else. You can never do what you completely want to or feel 100% secure or free in something that is “FOR RENT” because it is not yours. Growing up in foster care, it was never my bedroom or my house or my yard. It was never my special chair or my swingset or my tree. NEVER my mom or my dad or my sister or grandma. Nothing was ever really mine. A rental is never yours either.
Sometimes it must have said “problem, falling apart” and sometimes it must have said “good fuck” and sometimes it must have said “special needs” and sometimes it must have said “good slave potential” and sometimes it said “what the hell do we do with this..any takers?”
In the beginning I bet my sign said “small, but cute, needs work, potential is great!” Maybe it was even a “For Sale” sign, hoping some family would “buy me!”
But, later, as I grew old in foster care, I bet my sign said “old, high needs, in major disrepair”... The reality is that few people would want to rent or buy something like that.
When I got to the park with Moonlight, I sat in the grass and thought about being “FOR RENT” for so long. I often wonder if anyone ever wanted to take a chance on “buying me” and making me permanent. I never got that feeling. Maybe the messages on my “FOR RENT” signs were so overwhelming that they scared everyone away…. can a traumatized, scared blond kid be that frightening? Or maybe the workers just stopped putting any signs out about me — never a “RENT TO OWN,” never a “DRASTICALLY REDUCED – FOR SALE” sign. Maybe they just gave up…
…but for me, years of being rented, never gave me any permanency.