I don’t know how long I was in the Jamison Center before my soon-to-be foster mom would decide that she wanted two little blonde girls to take home. It felt like months. I suppose if I looked through the court papers, I could find out but honestly, I have no desire to dig through the court papers. You have no idea how many court papers there are!!! Duplicates even. I don’t know if this is normal or if my crazy mom just wanted duplicates of everything. Who knows?
Terry Thayer came in one day (she’s a she even though her name is spelled like a he), with the hopes of bringing home a little blonde girl. Much like “how much is that puppy in the window?” She came in looking for one “Oh! We have two!!” And left with two. So Cherie and I, who had become friends in the center and often pretended to be sisters, went home to become foster sisters. Terry was a single woman who already had one foster girl living with her. At the time, she was a real estate agent. Later she would go back to school at the age of 47 to pursue her associates and ultimately her MFT (Master’s in Family Therapy). If you know me personally, now you know where I get it from. Though my bio mom, Valerie, was a constant student as well. I went from thinking food stamps were normal to living in a nice house, with nice things, learning how to eat with my mouth closed, don’t bite the fork, cut my food right, say “passed gas” not fart, don’t ask how much money someone makes, how much they weigh and how to say “SUppose” not “I pose so.” I went from never going to school to always going to school. Reading for 30 minutes before bed, doing my homework and going from the bottom 10th percentile of my grade to the top 10th percentile. Can you say “stability?”
At first is was Cherie, Angie and myself as the only foster kids. Then more came and went. Soon it became evident that Angie’s mental issues were going to be too much for Terry to handle, so she was “returned.” Returned may be a bit harsh, but at the time, that is how it seemed to me. She needed more help then Terry could give her. I believe she went to a group home. You see, my story is horrible. There’s plenty I am leaving out of this blog, things I don’t feel comfortable discussing in this forum. However, these other girls and other foster kids have had it MUCH worse than me. Mothers who let their random boyfriends molest their daughters and sons, repeatedly. Kids so traumatized, that they rub their own shit on walls. But me, I was relatively normal. Considering. I was well-behaved. I didn’t talk back. I didn’t run away. I didn’t steal or get in fights at school. So for some reason, Terry decided that I would be the only foster kid she would keep around. Granted, everyone else wanted to go back to their fucked up homes. Some kids do that. Go back to the abuse, the filth, the drugs and the instability because it’s what they know and it’s normal to them.
I had visits with my bio mom once or twice a month. She was taking parenting classes and going to counseling at first. Sometimes she wouldn’t show up for visits. When she did, it was silly and sometimes fun. We had code words like “32 teeth” because we have 32 teeth, duh. So we would say that and it was like we were secretly saying “I love you.” I don’t know how or why but soon, I recognized that I wasn’t going to have a good life if I went back to her. My case came to a point were it was time to make a decision, try to go back to my bio mom or stay with Terry and she would try to get legal guardianship. Court day approached, and me being me, thought it would help my case to write a letter stating how I felt. I wrote it to my case worker who represented me in court because I didn’t want to go that day, I’d rather be in school.
“To Susan Gill: Would you please tell the judge that I should, and I want to be in legal guardianship. I understand that it will change the relationship between my mom and I. I don’t want to go home ever in my life. I also want you to tell the judge that I am tired of going to court every six months. I do not want my visits increased and I don’t want unsupervised visits. I don’t want to go through this year after year. I need a home and my home is with Terry.”
“Sincerely Sadie Thayer P.S. You have my permission to show this to my mom.”
It worked. I stayed.