Friday, November 1, 2013

Imagine your 'First Night in Foster Care'

While I'll never know what it's like to be put in foster care, with each placement I keep learning more of what these precious children are feeling.  Here's what I imagine would be a typical first day:

First Night in Foster Care by Phil Struska

Ripped from my home and all I know, cause they say I was in danger.
I'm going to a nice foster home, but to me they are just strangers.
Pack a bag I'm told, but I'm too numb to decide,
What to bring and what I'll need; I'd much rather just hide.
I grab a couple things, but I've never packed my stuff.
Will I need all my clothes and toys, or are just a few enough?

Buckled in a stranger's car, headed who-knows-where.
Tears run down my cheeks cause I forgot my teddy bear.
Better not ask to go back now, who knows what they'll do to me.
They've already forced me from my home, and my whole family.

I'm so full of questions I don't even know where to start.
Why do I have to leave the ones I love with all my heart?
Can somebody tell me, can someone explain,
Why I am forced into even more pain?
Did I mess up?  Was it something I did?
I thought I was a pretty good kid.
Evidently not, I'm being taken away.
What could I have done to stay?
The lady driving is trying to explain, but I can't hear a word.
My little sister is quietly sobbing, so I try to comfort her.

We shuffle through the front door of an unfamiliar home,
Dragging a plastic bag of what's left of things I called my own.
Two strangers greet and smile at me,
But for me to smile back would require surgery.
I hear a dog bark out in back,
They say they also have a cat.
Guess that's what's causing my allergies.
Prob'ly get yelled at if I sneeze.

They give me milk and cookies, then show me where I'll sleep.
Better not get comfortable 'cause there's nothing here I'll keep.
I forgot my P.J.'s too, guess I'll have to sleep in jeans.
These are so uncomfortable, they tell me, "It's the seams."
They read me a bedtime story, but I can't relax a minute.
Though it kinda makes me chuckle when he puts my name in it.
Maybe we'll be safe here, but doubts keep racing through my head.
I check on my sister one more time, then pass out on my bed.

Now does your life seem just a little bit easier?  I'll have to write another one describing how things improve with time, and how readily these precious kids respond to a stable, loving home.  It is so awesome to see how resilient they are.

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