Foster Youth Sandy Tells Her Story

My name is Sandy. I am eighteen years old and I have an almost four year son named Angel. I have been in and out of foster homes for about fifteen years of my life. Some of my foster homes were great while others were not.

I was a very angry person, had a bad temper and was always moved from foster home to foster home. I was about three years old when I went into my first foster home with my brother who was about five. We were together for a couple of years and then we were separated. I never knew the actual reason why I only got to see my mother and my brother about every two weeks instead of everyday until I was about almost nine years old years old. That was when I started understanding that I was a foster child because my real mother told me. My mother was not a very stable person once my brother and I got taken away from her. At about six or seven years old I moved with my grandmother who is my father’s mother. I lived with her for about three years until I got fed up of her letting my father physically abuse me. My grandmother barely let me see my mother and I used to always complain. My grandmother got tired of hearing me, so she finally let me have weekend visits with my mother. That did not last very long because my mother got tired of hearing me complain about my father beating me every Saturday night, which was when I arrived from visiting with my mothers.  My mother and my father disliked each other and they still do till this day. My mother decided one Saturday that she was not letting me go back to my grandmother’s house. We ran off to Florida, came back about six months later I believe and then we were caught. I was at least eleven at this point.

I don’t remember the foster homes that I was in before seven years old, which is when I moved with my grandmother. After eleven I was again in foster homes. At eleven I lived in a foster home with Mrs. Renee. At twelve I lived in a building where there were many kids, I think it was some kind of shelter and then with Ms. Lynne. At thirteen I lived with Mr. George and his wife and then I finally moved back with my mother. I was super excited to be living with her. I lived with her for about three or four months and then I became pregnant at fourteen. I had decided at fourteen that I would keep the baby, which is something that my mother should have tried to convince me not to do. I went nine, almost ten months without anyone finding out that I was pregnant by a man who was 15 years older than me. Throughout my pregnancy I had gestational diabetes and I had to give myself insulin three times a day because my sugar was too high. We kept it from my caseworker, from family and from friends. I only went to doctor appointments and home. That was the worst thing that I have ever done.

I had my son, Angel. He was 7lbs 4oz and 21inches long. I was very excited when I had him. Angel’s father was there and we were trying to make him look as if he was one of our family members. The nurses bought that for like a couple days, but they got suspicious when my mother put his name on the papers that were to be used to make the birth certificate. I was questioned by police officers and some hospital therapists. I told them that he was the father of my child, they took him in and he was put in prison. He is still there till this day. I didn’t understand at fourteen why he was in jail because I knew I was not raped, but what I did not know was that there was a thing as statutory rape. Everyone explained it to me, but I still felt as though I was not raped.

Angel and I got moved into a foster home after two weeks of staying at the hospital. I had my fifteenth birthday there and I was there with Angel until Angel was about five months. Then we moved to another foster home. We were there for about 4 or five months. I felt as though I could not live there, so I decided to tell my caseworker that I did not want to live there anymore because I did not feel equal there. After that foster home we moved with Ms. Anitra, where I live now with my son and this is where we have been living for about three years now. Throughout the whole process of moving around I was able to live with my son, many kids aren’t lucky to stay in the same foster home. My brother and I were not. I was and am very appreciative of my caseworker for managing to find us homes where we are able to stay together. I don’t know what I would have done if we were to have been separated.

I am eighteen years old, still living with Ms. Anitra, a senior is High School, I am graduating from high school and going to Gloucester County College. I am going to college for early childhood development with special needs kids. I want to work with special needs children and children period.