This project gives a voice to those who have gone through the foster care system. Learn about some of their stories below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your own.
Youth, age 21
A Different Kind of Lullaby
Feeling like I have no control
Will I go with a stranger or with family? I don't know
Court, money, a roof over my head
Too young to worry about these things
I just want a warm bed
A place where I can see my friends and feel safe
Not wondering if I'm only here because of a mistake
My mom wasn't there so they took me away
My dad disappeared long before that sad day
I don't think about Christmas like most kids do
I just hope that with these changes I make it through
There's not a day that goes by I don't think about life
Is this what it comes to? Will I be alright?
I'm too young to be stressed
and have thoughts of being alone
I'm not afraid there are monsters under my bed...
But monsters in my home
Will they be good people and welcome me in?
Will this family like me and treat me like kin?
Or will they say they can't do this...
And then that's the end
I don't wanna go back to where all the kids stay
Where we pray every night
someone good comes our way
Someone who helps us forget the abuse and failure of our parents we were too young to understand
But you grow up fast in this life
So we all tightly hold hands
Building a bond you won't ever believe
Hoping and praying that we all succeed
No one to sing to us
Or tuck us in at night
This is a different lullaby
One that cuts like a knife
A big room full of tiny beds
And loud whispers
Of prayers from young children wanting a hero
A saviour, a light, and a way out of this life
I'm the strongest one here... Even I cry at night
I tell them my stories
and the many families I've been with
And why I never stayed and the times I've been hit
And how I refuse to stand for any of it
I'm barely old enough to tell anybody what to do
But all the kids here look at me like a moon
When everything seems dark
I'm the light that guides them out
I'm the one, the one that makes them smile when they're having their doubts
I'm good at helping others
It was something God gave me
But when it comes to myself
I wish someone would save me
Can You Fix Me?
if i love you i will hurt.
if i love it’ll be like dirt
take my heart, and run with the wind,
but my heart is back were it started again.
Please don’t break me, please don’t tell me lies,
i wanna be able to love until next time.
So give me comfort and give me strength to put this heart that i have back together again.
Foster Youth, written at age 21
Wiggling Injury and Kicking Death
The bloody knuckles of “too dry, too tender, not good enough”
Arch over these insignificant flecks of 17 years of darkness.
I taste defeat tenderized in the air around me
The emotional reign from my mother and the intolerable ache of my dad’s drinking
Like a piece of meat, just two wafts of older than you want it to be
but I cannot be processed or preserved by
the salty way in which your eyes meat the floor.
The depression that caused my sister to drop out of college
was rooted in her relationship with my mother.
My dad, unexpectedly dying,
I couldn’t tell mom about the pain the of emotional abuse
Or the confusion of mourning a father who failed us with his drinking.
My own despair is fresher, more flavored,
not older, but aged, good enough to stand upon my bloody knuckles
for the first time, I directly challenged mom’s order
because he wouldn’t have wanted us to suffer like he had to.
wafting a wave of triumph,
she didn’t like it, but we didn’t stay.
these flecks of darkness process remnants of the past
into ripe specks of the future.
Could you imagine living in a place with a gate around it and locks on the outside of your door? You aren’t allowed to hug your friends, see your sister who lives on the other hall just twenty feet away or go outside to play and even though you’re seventeen you aren’t allowed to watch anything over PG. Every night that you try to sleep all you hear are the other children in the hall weeping for their parents or having vivid nightmares. You can’t shave because so many previous children attempted to take their life and you can’t use hairspray because they’re afraid you’ll inhale it. You even have to ride the short bus to school for some placements. That’s how my first placement was. Instead of secure I felt trapped and alone.
Sometimes you just have to let go,
move on and head down that road.
People will lie and hurt you in your face.
Say they care, but my heart feels a different way.
I've been through too much to hurt from the pain of the past, so why should I stay with people that i know won’t last?
People always ask me why do I love so hard, I say cause that's a part of my childhood that my family left apart.
Sometimes i wonder will I ever love again or will I stay lien and trying to pretend. If i was loved as a little girl, I wouldn't feel this pain,but wait who loves me?
yeah No answer that’s insane.
Foster Youth, written at age 15
Daddy, where are you?
What are you doing that you have not found me.
They say I shouldn't hate you but how can I not.
I want to be daddy's little girl, his princess, his world.
But I can't because I'm a little girl without a daddy.
I hope I'll find you before I have my own family.
How do I explain who's my daddy and what about my mommy?
Where is mommy?