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There was a lot that has happened in those eight years that I was in foster care. The system that was meant to help people did not seem to help me that much. I think in my whole time within the system I was in four group homes and seven foster homes.
I was going to be adopted once. That seemed so long ago, however, I can still remember what it was like when my worker at the time came to get me and take me back to yet another group home. I didn’t understand it then. Now, now I get the reason why they gave me back.
I tried to run away more times than I can count. Each time, I was brought back and it seemed to get worse and worse for me. However, now looking back, it made me who I am today.
I always dreamt that someday I would find a family. My forever family. I didn’t understand it then, but now, sitting here reading entries from my mother's diary, there is no such thing as a forever family. Not when you're in the system.
My mother made that clear when reading her diary. She was just like me, or I was just like her. Spending most of our lives trying to find our forever home.
There was one entry that stuck with me, more so than the last entry that she had. It was one that made me think hard about my life and what I wanted to do with it. Made me think that there has to be something done with the foster care system and how the kids are treated.
Maybe that is why these diaries were left on my doorstep. At first, I didn’t understand why they were left or even how whoever had them found me, but, I am starting to think that they came at the right time.
I was just getting off a double shift at work. All I wanted to do was go home and crash. I was coming up the stairs to my building when I saw the package. Neatly wrapped in brown paper. There was no note, not until I opened the package.
The note was small just four little words. They hit me like a slap in the face. I thought I was going to be sick. “For you, my monkey.” Monkey, that is what my mom use to call me. Her little monkey.
Along with the note there came seven journals; they were all dated from 2001 to 2008 each year were written across the front of each book. I sat there for a long time just staring at the books not knowing what to do with them. Some part of me wanted to read them another part wanted to burn them. It was what felt like a long time before I grabbed the first book and heading to the bathroom to soak my hurting body. Might as well read something.
Today, I was told that if I write down what I was feeling that it would help me get over everything. I am not too sure about that but here it goes.
It was my first time sitting there with so many people watching me. They were all waiting for me to tell them my story.
They wanted to know what happened and who was all involved. They wanted to know how it started.
I didn’t have the answers they wanted. So I just sat there. They kept asking questions.
“When did you first meet him?”
“Why did you go along with the whole thing?”
“How come you never came for help before?”
“Who was the one who was in charge?”
Those were just a few of what was asked. I didn't know how to answer. It felt like forever before I was allowed to leave. I tried to hold back the tears as I left the room.
Each question was like reliving it all over again. I wasn't ready for that. There were so many tests that I went through, and being in the room with all those people was the worse of them all.
As I left, making my way back to my room, all I wanted to do was have it all end. To have the pain end, the memories end, I just wanted it all to end.
I closed the book, closed my eyes, and tilted my head back. I just lay there. It was not until the water went cold and I started to shiver that I was brought back to reality. I didn’t know what had happened but I knew that it was bad. The date of the first entry was in 2001. So as sad as it made me, knowing that my mother no longer wanted to be here I know that she didn’t do it. That entry was a year before I was born. Well, once I did the math seven months actually. She wrote that when she was pregnant with me. I think that is what hurt the most.
Thinking that she didn’t want to have me. The thought also was maybe she wanted to end everything because she was pregnant with me. Whatever the reason was, it made me want to read more of it.