There is nothing that ever really prepares you for going to live with total strangers. I mean why would there be? It’s not like you would ever imagine that it would happen to you. I remember the first time I went into foster care I was 8 years old and it was the most frightening experience. The DCS case manger told me they were just taking us (myself and my 8 siblings) out to eat and then a few minutes later they tell me I was going to live with another family for a little while. I never even got to say goodbye to my mom, the only parent who I had known all my life. The funny part is that they told me it was only going to be for a “little while”, but what no one ever tells you is how long a “little while” is going to be because not even they know. The days turned into months, and the months turned into years. I would say that the first day was definitely the hardest and the longest. I started in one foster home then went to 2 different foster homes after that, and eventually returned to my biological mother after 2 years of being in care.
Three years after being returned to my bio mom, on July 31st of 2014, I was back in foster care. I had been through a lot those 3 years with my mom, so I was glad I was getting a break from the chaos at home. This time I was a lot calmer than I was the first time, and I was also able to make sure to keep my 7 siblings calm. We were taken to the foster care office in downtown Phoenix where we were taken very good care of. We took a shower and they gave us new clothes, treated us for lice, and gave each of us a couple of hygiene items. We were each questioned individually (by DCS) about the concerns they had for us at home. I remember the very last question they had asked me was “If you could go with anyone right now who would you go with?” and I had answered “my previous foster mom, Chayla”. Coincidentally she was working for a foster care agency and saw my name pop up on her computer and had requested to take me in again. My siblings and I were taken into foster care a week before school started, everything happened so fast. I started 8th grade at my new school and I was nervous and excited. At that time, that was my 11th school in 13 years. I believe no one should ever have to move that many times. Next thing I know, I was promoting into high school. Now here I am in the beginning of my Junior year. I am just like everyone else, with the exception that I do not live with my biological family. If I didn’t tell people that I was in foster care, then they would never know. Since I came into foster care, I have been thriving (learning, growing, maturing). It can be hard sometimes, having to balance visits, school, teen life and court dates. Sometimes I feel that my foster mom stresses a little more about me because she has more responsibility over me, but at the end of the day I am just like any other teen.