We asked youth to share how they stay connected with family (including parents & siblings), and why staying connected is important to them. Check out what they had to say, and learn why family connections matter. Interested in contributing your voice? Watch for our prize drawing here and the next contest!
My mom, her wife, four of our brothers, and one of our sisters were living in Texas. I had a phone which was a rule that my foster parents bent so that I could communicate with my family. I texted my mom, her wife, and any brothers with phones all throughout the day. Nearly every night, Sara (Name changed) and I would call our family in Texas, often we would also video chat. Maintaining contact was and is extremely important to me as my family, especially my siblings, is my world.
When the birthdays and holidays rolled around, my mom mailed us a box with our presents and cards from all our family down south; including aunts, uncles, and grandparents. For several of our court dates, DCS arranged it so that my mom had a flight to Indiana and hotel room so that she could attend and we could spend time together.
The two summers that I was in foster care I was able to fly to Texas and spend a month with my family there. My mom, her wife, and my siblings moved to Indiana and we live together now which is amazing. My sister, Sara, is still in the system and despite my efforts, I have not been able to contact her in over a year, but before that happened I would visit her at our foster parents’ home and when she was moved we had video calls that I miss much. I still talk to my foster family, they have made me a part of their family and they are a part of mine.
- Cheyenne, age 17, 2-years in care in Indiana
I Call You
by Louie Gasper
Dear dad, what about the world made you so sad?
In high school, you knocked up a couple girls and that made you mad.
I know you’ve held me in your arms before, and that hurts bad.
But you were caught up in the lifestyle of selling drugs, you had.
I will never know if you cared, because life isn’t something you have, just something you had.
Sadly I don’t call you dad, I call you Haidar.
Dear momma, why did you cause me so much trauma?
You should have saved my time and said ‘I don’t want ya’.
From how much you said you loved me, I thought you would always be ma.
But you always had more important issues than me and were in the drama.
I know you don’t care, because you forgot about me when you became a new momma.
Sadly I don’t call you mom, I call you Jessica.
Dear grandpa bill, why do you have ill will?
From my childhood, I thought our relationship would always be chill.
But you forgot about me, when you accused me of stealing your bills.
It’s sad that you’re a stranger, because we both live in Rockville.
I know you don’t care, because there’s a void that you never wanted to fill.
Sadly I don’t call you grandpa, I call you Bill.
Dear grandma Di, will you ever leave me behind?
Throughout the hard times, you’re the only person that ever really tried.
All the nights I thought you forgot about me, you actually spent to cry.
After eight years of looking for a stable home, you were the one who supplied.
I know you care about me, because you won’t leave my side.
After years of not calling you, I call you grandma.
Dear world, why are you so cold?
I wanted a mom, a dad, brothers and sisters, so together we could grow old.
I spent many nights alone, wishing for a family - truth be told.
Instead, I got a lesson that family isn’t blood, but it is the ones who don’t let go.
I know that people care for me, as I see my family grow.
To everyone who has and will support me, I don’t call you friends - I call you family."
- Louie Gasper, 2017 FosterClub All-Star, 7 years in care in California
Short by Necessary Letters
By Phoenix Ramirez
To my Brother
Although you are now an adult
I still see you as a little kid
You are on your own path
Just be safe
To my Mom
I miss you
It has been years since I have seen your face
I wonder what you look like
I hope you get better
To my Dad
I am sorry
I don't check in enough
I am glad you want to be in my life again
To my Stepmom
You are apart of the family
I am glad you are supportive
You help guide me
I have noticed the changes in you
To my Sister
You are adorable
I can’t wait to see you again
It's weird being an adult
Don’t grow up to fast
To my Aunt and Uncle
Thanks for putting up with me
I am still a handful
Changing that will be hard
Thanks for not giving up
To my Cousins
Why don’t we talk anymore
We used to be close
I feel like there's so much going on
How you been
To my Grandma
I love you
You are the most hopeful
I am just scared
Of losing you one day
To my Foster Family’s
We may have not ended well
You may have forgotten the things I have done
Thanks for having me
You made me a better person
You supported me
You tried to bring me down
I am glad I met you
Look at you
You have changed so much
Living up to the name Phoenix
Did you ever think you would get this far
- Phoenix Ramirez, 2018 All-Star, 14-years in care in Oregon
Stay tuned for more entries! Interested in contributing? Are you a young person (24 or under) that has experienced care? Check out FosterClub's latest CREATIVE EXPRESSION contest! Learn more and submit by Feb. 28th for a chance to win a gift card!