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I Was In Foster Care
Multnomah County, Oregon
Two weeks past my 12th birthday on the morning of April 12, 1985, my life was turned upside down.
There was a knock at the door of the motel room that my Mom, brother and I had been staying at since we had been kicked out of our apartment. I don’t remember who was at the door (police or children’s services), but I remember them going through everything in the room looking for drugs. It was a chaotic scene. Although I have always been tough, it was definitely a very traumatic day emotionally.
I honestly don’t remember much that day. I know I was removed from the motel room, but I don’t remember anything until that evening about 8pm when I was dropped off at a stranger’s home. The lady of the home seemed nice. There were five teenage girls there. They all welcomed me into the bedroom that had 4 bunk beds that I had to share with them. They were convincing me to runaway that night. They were all planning to do it after the lady and her husband went to bed. I had a very hard day and dealing with them was very overwhelming. I went to a new school the next day which was really hard. I didn’t stay long though as the lady of the house had some medical issues come up and she couldn’t care for any of us anymore.
Off to another strangers house I go!! This time I got very lucky! I was the only foster child in the house of a very close and loving family. They treated me as if I was family. I stayed with them for three months until I was able to go live with my Daddy.
I believe the CHART center will be very valuable for children removed from a bad situation. I know it would have made my transition easier. With a professional staff and counselor, I know first hand that it would make the transition less traumatic on a child.
I Am A Foster Parent
We received the call before 5pm on a Thursday night. “We have a 2 year old girl in need of a short term placement while we get an ICP for an aunt. She’s being removed for substance abuse and neglect.” “Hold on, let me run it by my husband. I’m sure he will say yes though.” “Yes! We will take her.”
Less then two hours later the caseworker and ‘sweet girl’ show up. She is very shy and doesn’t say anything. I offer her a banana. Our 9 year old daughter is very eager to meet her, but we have taught her to give our new kiddos some time and space. The caseworker, my husband, and I talk for a few minutes. ‘Sweet girl’ had just been removed. First court hearing would be the next afternoon. She didn’t know much about her. We would touch bases the next day after court. She gave us her card and left.
As soon as she walked out the door, our daughter approached ‘sweet girl’ and she immediately started talking as if she has known our daughter her whole life. They finish their snack and she starts to explore our home. She seems to be a very smart child and it appears that she has had someone in her life that spent time with her. She was excited about taking a bath and even her “new jammies” She loved having her hair brushed. At bedtime, she feel asleep far to easy. I was concerned that she might wake up during the night, but she didn’t.
The next morning, she and our daughter played dolls for hours. You could tell that they would get along great. I pulled some tubs of clothes out and posted on Facebook about needing a car seat and some other things. Friends from church and our community were fast to respond. She loved breakfast and was so polite. We had a great day playing and letting her explore and get to know us and our home. Then the second call came, “Sarah, we are on our way to come pick up ‘Sweet Girl” A home safety plan was made for her and bio-mom. Judge granted her back home.”
22 hours. That’s how long we got to love her. 22 hours. That’s how long we got to share our home. 22 hours. And we would do it all over again tomorrow. Because these kids are worth it.
Everyday there are 100s of children, just like ‘Sweet girl’ who are removed from their homes and placed into foster care. Most of these children have only the clothes they are wearing and they only information about them that is known is their first name. Many of them have a relative or family friend that would say yes, but they need to go though the proper background checks to get approved. During that time, the child is placed in a short term or even an emergency foster home. Sometimes till a long term home opens. Sometimes they are bounced around from short term to short term home.
We believe the CHART center would be another great resource for Clackamas Co. A place where children who just need a short term placement or even a place for children, like little ‘Sweet girl’ to go while a safety plan is being made. A place where they can unwind and feel safe after their whole world has come crashing down on them.
Thank you for all that you do for Clackamas Co and our community.
Jeremiah and Sarah Glosser