Best 47 of Foster care quotes - MyQuotes
John William Tuohy
In foster care it’s easier to measure what you’ve lost over what you have gained, because it there aren’t many gains in that life and you are a prisoner to someone else’s plans for your life.
In late October of 1962, it was our turn to go. Miss Hanrahan appeared in her state Ford Rambler, which, by that point, seemed more like a hearse than a nice lady’s car. Our belongings were packed in a brown bags. The ladies in the kitchen, familiar with our love of food, made us twelve fried-fish sandwiches each large enough to feed eight grown men and wrapped them in tinfoil for the ride ahead of us. Miss Louisa, drenched with tears, walked us to the car and before she let go of my hand she said, “When you a big, grown man, you come back and see Miss Louisa, you hear?” “But,” I said, “you won’t know who I am. I’ll be big.” “No, child,” she said as she gave me her last hug, “you always know forever the peoples you love. They with you forever. They don’t never leave you.” She was right, of course. Those we love never leave us because we carry them with us in our hearts and a piece of us is within them. They change with us and they grow old with us and with time, they are a part of us, and thank God for that.
Families don’t have to match. You don’t have to look like someone else to love them.” -Leigh Anne Tuohy
John William Tuohy
Denny thought our parents needed a combination of material goods and temperamental changes before he could return home. “If Dad buys Ma a car, then she’ll love him, and they’ll get back together and she won’t be all crazy anymore,” he said. For years he held out the possibility that those things would happen and all would change. “If we had more things, like stoves and cars,” he told me at night in our bedroom, “and Ma wasn’t like she is, we could go home.
John William Tuohy
So he sings,” he continued as if Denny had said nothing. “His solo mio, that with her in his life he is rich because she is so beautiful that she makes the sun more beautiful, you understand?” And at that he dropped the hoe, closed his eyes and spread out his arms wide and with the fading sun shining on his handsome face he sang: Che bella cosa è na jurnata 'e sole n'aria serena doppo na tempesta! Pe' ll'aria fresca pare già na festa Che bella cosa e' na jurnata 'e sole Ma n'atu sole, cchiù bello, oi ne' 'O sole mio sta 'nfronte a te! 'O sole, 'o sole mio sta 'nfronte a te! sta 'nfronte a te! It looked like fun. We dropped our tools and joined him, belting out something that sounded remarkably like Napolitano. We sang as loud as we could, holding on to each note as long as we could before we ran out of breath, and then we sang again, occasionally dropping to one knee, holding our hands over our hearts with exaggerated looks of deep pain. Although we made the words up, we sang with the deepest passion, with the best that we had, with all of our hearts, and that made us artists, great artists, for in that song, we had made all that art is: the creation of something from nothing, fashioned with all of the soul, born from joy. And as that beautiful summer sun set over Waterbury, the Brass City, the City of Churches, our voices floated above the wonderful aromas of the garden, across the red sky and joined the spirits in eternity.
Here we go. The Harlequin moment when mother and child meet for the first time in twenty years. Spare me the drama, please. I had enough of that in the foster homes they dumped me in.
As I said, you die a little bit in foster care, but I suppose we all die a little bit in our daily lives, no matter what path God has chosen for us. But there is always a balance to that sadness; there’s always a balance. You only have to look for it. And if you look for it, you’ll see it. I saw it in a well-meaning nun who wanted to share the joy of her life’s work with us. I saw it in an old man in a garden who shared the beauty of the soil and the joy he took in art, and I saw it in the simple decency and kindness of an underpaid nurse’s aide. Yeah. Great things rain down on us. The magnificence of life’s affirmations are all around us, every day, everywhere. They usually go unnoticed because they seldom arrive with the drama and heartbreak of those hundreds of negative things that drain our souls. But yeah, it’s there, the good stuff, the stuff worth living for. You only have to look for it and when you see it, carry it around right there at the top of your heart so it’s always there when you need it. And you’ll need it a lot, because life is hard.
I came to this house for safety. They came because the foster care system ran out of homes. We stayed because we were stray pieces of other puzzles, tired of never fitting.
Seth Adam Smith
Thus bound together, they sheltered the child from the cold, dark night, enveloping him in warmth.
That so many thousands of children around the world are available for adoption is a sign of our impoverished humanity. That so many persons around the world open their hearts and homes each year to embrace a few of these children is a lasting testimony to humanity's enduring nobility.
Judith Lewis Herman
In some instances, even when crisis intervention has been intensive and appropriate, the mother and daughter are already so deeply estranged at the time of disclosure that the bond between them seems irreparable. In this situation, no useful purpose is served by trying to separate the mother and father and keep the daughter at home. The daughter has already been emotionally expelled from her family; removing her to protective custody is simply the concrete expression of the family reality. These are the cases which many agencies call their “tragedies.” This report of a child protective worker illustrates a case where removing the child from the home was the only reasonable course of action: Division of Family and Children’s Services received an anonymous telephone call on Sept. 14 from a man who stated that he overheard Tracy W., age 8, of [address] tell his daughter of a forced oral-genital assault, allegedly perpetrated against this child by her mother’s boyfriend, one Raymond S. Two workers visited the W. home on Sept. 17. According to their report, Mrs. W. was heavily under the influence of alcohol at the time of the visit. Mrs. W. stated immediately that she was aware why the two workers wanted to see her, because Mr. S. had “hurt her little girl.” In the course of the interview, Mrs. W. acknowledged and described how Mr. S. had forced Tracy to have relations with him. Workers then interviewed Tracy and she verified what mother had stated. According to Mrs. W., Mr. S. admitted the sexual assault, claiming that he was drunk and not accountable for his actions. Mother then stated to workers that she banished Mr. S. from her home. I had my first contact with mother and child at their home on Sept. 20 and I subsequently saw this family once a week. Mother was usually intoxicated and drinking beer when I saw her. I met Mr. S. on my second visit. Mr. S. denied having had any sexual relations with Tracy. Mother explained that she had obtained a license and planned to marry Mr. S. On my third visit, Mrs. W. was again intoxicated and drinking despite my previous request that she not drink during my visit. Mother explained that Mr. S. had taken off to another state and she never wanted to see him again. On this visit mother demanded that Tracy tell me the details of her sexual involvement with Mr. S. On my fourth visit, Mr. S. and Mrs. S. were present. Mother explained that they had been married the previous Saturday. On my fifth visit, Mr. S. was not present. During our discussion, mother commented that “Bay was not the ﬁrst one who had Tracy.” After exploring this statement with mother and Tracy, it became clear that Tracy had been sexually exploited in the same manner at age six by another of Mrs. S.'s previous boyfriends. On my sixth visit, Mrs. S. stated that she could accept Tracy’s being placed with another family as long as it did not appear to Tracy that it was her mother’s decision to give her up. Mother also commented, “I wish the fuck I never had her.” It appears that Mrs. S. has had a number of other children all of whom have lived with other relatives or were in foster care for part of their lives. Tracy herself lived with a paternal aunt from birth to age ﬁve.
He sounds so tired. "I know if there was any choice at all, they wouldn't have left me alone. They would have made sure I was taken care of." In a heartbeat, a thousand memories at once. All the times I knew things I couldn't have known. All the times he was assigned to me. "Julian," I say, "maybe they did.
I journeyed alone for almost ten years before I found home. Adoptions are like very delicate gardening with transplants and grafts. Mine took hold, rooted, and bloomed, even though there were inevitable adjustments to the new soil and climate. Yet I have not forgotten where my roots started.
I am here because I worked too hard and too long not to be here. But although I told the university that I would walk across the stage to take my diploma, I won’t. At age fifty-seven, I’m too damned old, and I’d look ridiculous in this crowd. From where I’m standing in the back of the hall, I can see that I am at least two decades older than most of the parents of these kids in their black caps and gowns. So I’ll graduate with this class, but I won’t walk across the stage and collect my diploma with them; I’ll have the school send it to my house. I only want to hear my name called. I’ll imagine what the rest would have been like. When you’ve had a life like mine, you learn to do that, to imagine the good things. The ceremony is about to begin. It’s a warm June day and a hallway of glass doors leading to the parking lot are open, the dignitaries march onto the stage, a janitor slams the doors shut, one after the other. That banging sound. It’s Christmas Day 1961 and three Waterbury cops are throwing their bulk against our sorely overmatched front door. They are wearing their long woolen blue coats and white gloves and they swear at the cold. They’ve finally come for us, in the dead of night, to take us away, just as our mother said they would.
John William Tuohy
I don’t know’,” he said. “Those three words from a willing soul are the start of a grand and magnificent voyage.” And with that he began a discourse that lasted for several weeks, covering scene-setting, establishing conflict, plot twists, and first- and third-person narration. [ I learned in these rapid-fire mini-dissertations that like most literature lovers I would come to know, Henry was a book snob. He assumed that if a current author was popular and widely enjoyed, then he or she had no merit. He made a few exceptions, such as Kurt Vonnegut, although that was mostly because Vonnegut lived on Cape Cod and so he probably had some merits as a human being, if not as a writer. I think that the way Henry saw it was that he was not being a snob. In fact I would venture that in his view of things, snobbery had nothing to do with it. Rather, it was a matter of standards. It was bout quality in the author’s craftsmanship.
Otherwise, there were no long goodbyes or emotional scenes. That isn’t part of foster care. You just leave and you just die a little bit. Just a little bit because a little bit more of you understands that this is the way it’s going to be. And you grow hard around the edges, just a little bit. Not in some big way, but just a little bit because you have to, because if you don’t it only hurts worse the next time and a little bit more of you will die. And you don’t want that because you know that if enough little bits of you die enough times, a part of you leaves. Do you know what I mean? You’re still there, but a part of you leaves until you stand on the sidelines of life, simply watching, like a ghost that everyone can see and no one is bothered by. You become the saddest thing there is: a child of God who has given up.
Seth Adam Smith
There's nothing more important in this world than caring for a child.
John William Tuohy
I felt empty a lot and I sometimes had a sense—and I know this sounds strange—that I really had no existence as my own person, that I could disappear and no one would notice or remember that I had ever existed. It is a terrifying thing to live with. I kept myself busy to avoid that feeling, because somehow being busy made me feel less empty.
You are mine for a moment, but you are His, forever His.
...it takes a special person to be a great foster parent, someone who realizes that the child he or she is receiving isn't perfect and probably is carrying a lot of heavy emotional baggage and bad habits. But that understanding and acceptance are essential if foster parents truly hope to bring any sense of normalcy to the child living with them in their home. The rest is all uphill from there.
John William Tuohy
It didn’t last long. Not many good things in a foster kid’s life last long. One day, Maura was gone. Her few things were packed in paper bags and a tearful Miss Louisa carried her out to Miss Hanrahan’s black state-owned Ford sedan with the state emblem on the door, and she was gone. The state had found a foster home that would take a little girl but couldn’t take the rest of us. There were no long goodbyes. She was just gone. I remember having an enormous sense of helplessness when they took her. Maura didn’t know where she were going or long she would be there. She was just gone
This is for the kids who know that the worst kind of fear isn't the thing that makes you scream, but the one that steals your voice and keeps you silent.
Sunny was a treat to read. It is most appealing as the story is very well done and the artwork is beautiful. I applaud the author for writing a book to meet the needs of very young children as well as children of elementary school age. I experienced many different feelings as I read the book and I know otehrs will experience the same thing. The guide to further discussion at the end of teh book will be most helpful as foster parents read this story to the children in their care.
I saw the bruises, the burns, the cuts— I knew which ones had been done to you by someone you thought you could trust. Someone you thought loved you. I knew which ones you gave yourself.
The love of a foster mother for her charge appears absolutely irrational.
They projected an illusion of warmth with their home-cooking and hand-stitched quilts, yet underneath the facade was an institutional rigidity, as if they were running an orphanage where children would be fed and cared for but never loved. Love was such a key ingredient in molding humans, yet it was inaccessible to kids inside of the system.
It sounded bizarre and I was afraid of what awaited me. We entered a town called Dobbs Ferry in Westchester County. We drove up a long hill past some houses and past a sign that read “Welcome to Children’s Village.” ” Excerpts From: Life of a Bastard Vol. 1 By Damien Black
It's okay not to love us. " I kept my face buried in my pillow, yet my ears were on full alert. "And I'm not going to say that I love you, because I haven't known you long enough to feel that way. I like you very much and I want you to be my daughter forever, but love is something that grows with shared experiences. I feel the buds of love growing, but it hasn't blossomed yet." I could not believe she was being so honest. She took a long breath. "There is nothing we can say to make you believe we'll be here for you. You'll only learn it by living with us year after year.
Being adopted felt like reading a book that had the first chapter ripped out. You might be enjoying the plot and the characters, but you'd probably also like to read that first line, too. However, when you took the book back to the store to say that the first chapter was missing, they told you they couldn't sell you a replacement copy that was intact. What if you read that first chapter and realized you hated the book, and posted a nasty review on Amazon? What if you hurt the author's feelings? Better just to stick with your partial copy and enjoy the rest of the story.
Adoption is a lifelong journey. It means different things to me at different times. Sometimes it is just a part of who I am. Other times it is something I am actively going through.
John William Tuohy
One afternoon Walter brought Izzy to the house for lunch and, pointing to me, he said to Izzy, “He’s one of your tribe.” Dobkins lifted his head to look at me and after a few seconds said, “I don’t see it.” “The mother’s a Jew,” Walter answered, as if he were describing the breeding of a mongrel dog. “Then you are a Jew,” Izzy said, and sort of blessed me with his salami sandwich.
The one piece of advice I always give is this: become a foster parent because you want to help the child. Not because you expect the child to think of you as their mother or father. Or to love you for the rest of their lives. They might never love you. But you have to do the very best you can for them at all times, no matter what. Fostering is one of the few jobs where your ultimate goal is not to be needed anymore.
John William Tuohy
Father, I can’t take this,” I said. “Why not?” “Because you’re a priest, Father.” “And my money’s no good because of it? What are you? A member of the Masonic Lodge?” “Naw, Father,” I said. “I just feel guilty taking money from you.” “Well, you’re Irish and Jewish. You have to feel guilty over somethin’, don’t ya? Take the money and be happy ye have it.
There has long been an iron rule in American social welfare policy: conditions must be worse for the dependent poor than for anyone who works. The seldom-acknowledged corollary is that the subsidized care of other people's children must be undesirable enough, or scarce enough, to play a role in this system of deterrence. In the late nineteenth century, charity reformer Josephine Shaw Lowell expressed this view when she insisted that the "honest laborer" should not see the children of the drunkard "enjoy advantages which his own may not hope for.
John William Tuohy
They were no better than common thieves. They stole our childhood. But even with that, I was heartbroken that I would not know the Wozniaks anymore, the only people who came close to being parents to me. I would be conscious of their absence for the rest of my life. I needed them. You know, if you think about it, we all need each other. But even with all of the evidence against the Wozniaks, I had conflicted emotions about them, then and now. They were the closest I had to a real family and real parents. But now I was bankrupt of any feelings at all towards them at all. I felt then, and feel now, a great sense of loss. I felt as if I were burying them. when I never really had them to lose in the first place. Disillusioned is probably a better word. In fact the very definition of disillusionment is a sense of loss for something you never had. When you are disillusioned and disappointed enough times, you stop hoping. That’s what happens to many foster kids. We become loners, not because we enjoy the solitude, but because we let people into our lives and they disappoint us. So we close up and travel alone. Even in a crowd, we’re alone. Because I survived, I was one of the lucky ones. Why is it so hard to articulate love, yet so easy to express disappointment?
Sister, why do you do that?" "Do what?" "Cage the animals at night?" "Well..." She looked up and out through the barred window before answering me."We don't want to, Jennings, but we have to. You see, the animals that are given to us we have to take care of. If we didn't cage them up in one place, we might lose them, they might get hurt or damaged. It's not the best thing, but it's the only way we have to take care of them." "But if somebody loved one them," I asked, "wouldn't it be a good idea to let them have one? To keep, I mean?" "Yes, it would be. But not everyone would love them and take care of them as you would. I wish I could give them all away tomorrow." She looked at me. There were tears in her eyes. "But I can't. My heart would break if I saw just one of those animals lying by the wayside uncared for, unloved. No, Jennings. It's better if we keep them together.
We have the opportunity to pour into them what they were created to be; and pullout the treasure that they cannot yet see.
My memories from this period are often nebulous. They bend and warp like clouds caught between two fronts. A lot of terrible things happened to me that I try not to remember, but I was a child, I was innocent, and I used to be happy sometimes. ” Excerpt From: Life of a Bastard Vol. 1 By Damien Black
PLACEMENT The Physical Transference of Care and Saying Good-bye "A toddler cannot participate in a discussion of the transition process or be expected o understand a verbal explanation. [They benefit] tremendously by experiencing the physical transference of care, and by witnessing the former caregiver's permission and support for [their new guardians] to assume their role. The toddler pays careful attention to the former caregiver's face and voice, listening and watching as [they talk] to [their new guardians] and invites the [guardians'] assumption of the caregiver's role. The attached toddler is very perceptive of [their] caregiver's emotions and will pick up on nonverbal cues from that person as to how [they] should respond to [their] new family. Children who do not have he chance to exchange good-byes or to receive permission to move on are more likely to have an extended period of grieving and to sustain additional damage to their basic sense of trust and security, to their self-esteem, and to their ability to initiate and sustain strong relationships as they grow up. The younger the child, the more important it is that there be direct contact between parents and past caregiveres. A toddler is going to feel conflicting loyalties if [they] are made to feel on some level that [they] must choose between [their] former caregiver and [their] new guardians ...
The pain will always be in you — but you will not always be in pain.
Family is everything, and you are lucky for the ones you’ve experienced. You have another there with the friends you’ve found. Don’t shut them out, keiki. Don’t give up on life just yet, it has good things waiting for you.
Children are taught to look down on their nurses (nannies), to treat them as mere servants. When their task is completed the child is withdrawn or the nurse is dismissed. Her visits to her foster-child are discouraged by a cold reception. After a few years the child never sees her again. The mother expects to take her place, and to repair by her cruelty the results of her own neglect. But she is greatly mistaken; she is making an ungrateful foster-child, not an affectionate son; she is teaching him ingratitude, and she is preparing him to despise at a later day the mother who bore him, as he now despises his nurse.
Then I remember social workers don't care.
Once we were inside the walls of Rahway Prison the mood changed. We were patted down for weapons and given a tour. They showed us how to make improvised weapons that people would hide in their ass. The guards pointed out the young guys who had become someone’s bitch.” Excerpt From: Life of a Bastard Vol. 1 By Damien Black
We were always driven by a gray-haired man in the foster-care agency car. I remember leaving that abusive home, pulling out of the driveway, and seeing sumo Mr. Sanchez’s ice cream truck. He would take us with him when he worked but never gave us any ice cream. Oh, the cruelty! I would have taken real a beating for some ice cream.
John William Tuohy
Weeks turned into months and a year passed, but I didn’t miss my parents. I missed the memory of them. I assumed that part of my life was over. I didn’t understand that I was required to have an attachment to them, to these people I barely knew. Rather, it was my understanding that I was supposed to switch my attachment to my foster parents. So I acted on that notion and no one corrected me, so I assumed that what I was doing was good and healthy.
What makes a family is neither the absence of tragedy nor the ability to hide from misfortune, but the courage to overcome it and, from that broken past, write a new beginning.