Shaki, Foster Child: “My Biological Family is Not Perfect, I Love Them, However Foster Care Gave Me A Chance"
I was ashamed to write and tell my story, but I want it to reach more people, not because I need sympathy, but because I want to share what we, foster children, feel.
My story began 10 years ago when I was 7. It was the first time I encountered foster care. Because my biological parents were not perfect, but ... I loved them. Due to the fact that they were not able to take care of me, I was placed in a foster family. At that time, I didn’t really know what was happening. Back then I only trusted my sister, who was constantly hugging me for fear of being separated. Yes, in the beginning they planned to separate us, because our foster family wanted a girl, not a boy. But things changed and we were placed together. I met my foster family a few times before we entered their home.
I thought that difficult times were over and that we will live happily, but the truth was that the problems were just starting to show up. Before us, there was another child accommodated in this family, for whom we thought was a biological child to my foster parents. In the beginning, we considered him senior than us. He was a year older than my sister. My attitude toward him was different, but when I realized that he was like me, I felt that I would have someone to share my great sadness with.
We got really close. We did numerous things just to make our foster parents angry. We did folly after folly, but that made us stronger together. And I was getting attached to the kid. What happened to him before the foster family, touched me so much, that I was ready to protect and love him always. Do you know what brought me together with my foster parents? It may be strange, but whenever I had bad results from school, they didn’t like it and requested the reasons for it. I wasn’t just a stranger in this family, but a child, who was important to this family. At the beginning, I called them "uncle" and "aunt" - I couldn’t perceive them as foster parents, but after 2-3 years I felt them very close. Then there came the feeling that I couldn’t live without them. So, I decided to call them "mom" and "dad." Then I realized that a parent in not the one, who has given you life, but the one, who has raised you. Of course, I don’t blame my own family, but I am aware that my foster parents were the one, who changed me.
The day, when I lost my foster brother, was very painful. He was adopted. I cried so much, I was overwhelmed with sadness. I loved him so much, he was my little brother, made from dark chocolate. The fact that he would finally have a real family, didn’t help me much, because we were his family. I didn’t even know where he went, and whether he was loved.
Until I got into a foster family, I have never celebrated my birthday. I didn’t know what it was for someone to have a birthday. For the first time I celebrated it, when I turned 8. I had neither celebrated Christmas. On our first Christmas together I felt what it was to be important to someone. I don’t quite remember, but my foster father had placed under the Christmas tree a present, on the bag of which there was a label "For Shaki". I opened it with great impatience. And I didn’t care what was in the bag. To me it was important who has arranged it. Before I met my foster family I had no friends and I didn’t know how it felt to have a home. For me foster care is a second chance and I am ready to invest a lifetime in it. I want to help children without parents and to give them what my foster parents have given me. That is why I love the camps for young people from foster families, which NFCA organizes - there we are, the way we are, each one of us with his own burden and worries. But we find out that we are one family, we have different stories, but common difficulties. And that there are other children like us, who need support. We, the young people from foster families, are ready to help.
We publish the text with the permission of the foster boy and his picture - after his written statement and after the written permission from his biological family.