August 24, 2017
This week, Annie answers two questions! Both questions come from one of the foster care kids in Arkansas:
How did it feel living in a normal environment? Was it crazy for you when you were in foster care?
Thanks for your questions! It felt great living in a normal environment! I didn’t have to keep switching foster homes. I didn’t have to worry about not having a family anymore. I knew I was always going to have food to eat and be safe. It was one of those times where I finally knew everything was going to be ok.
The answer to your second question is Yes. It was super crazy. We were bounced around from foster home to foster home. I never had time to settle. Then I was placed in my last foster home and I loved it. A few years later they adopted me and my sister. There was always someone involved in your business, but they don’t mean to be rude. It’s just their job and a way of keeping you safe. It was so crazy, but it was worth it. Like I always say, sometimes bad things happen so better things can come.
Thanks again for writing and sending me your questions!
August 8, 2017
Hi, guys! It’s me, Annie. I just wanted to let you all know that I haven’t forgotten about you. Our summer was pretty crazy. My grandpa (my adopted mom’s dad) passed away, so we spent a lot of our summer back where she grew up. That's about 550 miles from here. I have a bunch of letters from you guys and promise to get back to you soon! I even have some news of my own to share… I have been in touch with some of my biological siblings! I’ll talk more about that later. Thanks for understanding and keep those letters coming!
July 3, 2017
Do you still talk to your foster parents?
First, I want to say thank you very much for the question. I appreciate it very much. Believe it or not, my foster parents were the ones that adopted me. I had another foster parent before the ones I have now, but I don’t talk to them anymore. All I know about my old foster parents is that they are in another state. My parents have always kept the door open for their other foster kids. They are always there if any of them need them. Some of them, my mom talks to pretty often. Some of those kids’ moms have even thanked her for taking care of their children. So, I guess I still do talk to my foster parents. Even if you go back home, you were a part of their life and they were a part of yours!
June 9, 2017
There are a thousand feelings that go through your head when you get placed in foster care. Guilt, ashamed, not loved, scared, worried, not worthy, mad, afraid, sad, etc. That’s just a few. There are thousands more, and I’m here to explain some.
You’re probably wondering why a kid would feel guilt, but there’s actually a lot of reasons. One could be because they feel bad for liking their foster family. Another could be that they feel like they’ll forget their real parents/family. Lastly, they could feel like they like the new foster family more than their real family.
There are a lot of reasons a kid could feel afraid, but here are a few. One is that they feel like they won’t ever have a family. Another is that they could feel like their foster family won’t like them. Or it could be fear of living with a total stranger. Lastly, they could be afraid they’ll never see their real parents again.
· NOT WORTHY
I was answering one of my questions for Ask Annie, and the little girl asked “how do you deal with feelings of wanting to be adopted by a family, but not feeling worthy of having one.” I thought, why would a 10 year old girl think that? Then it hit me. She could think she doesn’t deserve a family because of her history/past. Or because of what she thinks she’s done to her family in the past.
· NOT LOVED
Feeling not loved is a big one. It’s a feeling that a lot of kids have. There are millions of reasons but I can only list so many, so here are a few. When teenagers are in foster care, they could feel not loved because they don’t have a family yet or they keep moving from place to place. Another could be that they feel like the foster parent likes the other kids better. They could also feel like their real bio parents didn’t love them enough to be able to keep them.
There are thousands and millions of feelings you have while you are being placed in foster care, but you should never be afraid to talk about them. You’ll feel a lot better when you talk about them, I promise. Don’t hold your feelings in or you’ll feel worse, and don’t be afraid to reach out to me if you have any of these feelings.
May 17, 2017
How do you deal with feelings of wanting to be adopted but feeling that you are not worthy to be adopted by the family?
--Georgia, 10 years old
Hi there! Thanks for the question that you sent me. That’s a great question. I’ve been in your shoes before. I was adopted when I was 8. For me, I couldn’t understand why my adopted family would want me and my own didn’t. But let me assure you that we all deserve to be loved. I would suggest you talk with your foster or adoptive parents about how you feel, and I promise you will feel a lot better. It’s okay to have those feelings but you should never feel afraid to talk about them. Any time I feel like that, I talk to my parents and I feel a lot better. But one thing you should never do is hold your feelings in because that makes you feel a lot worse. Thank you for the question, and feel free to reach out to me any time you want!
April 18, 2017
Celebrating My Adoptiversary!
Today is the 5th anniversary of me and my sister being adopted. It has been an amazing adventure. When I first got here, all I wanted to do is go, but now all I want to do is stay. I remember when I was six years old, I wondered why my foster parents didn’t look like me. Back then I didn’t understand why, but now I do. I think it’s funny when I’m with my parents and I’m walking and people make weird faces when they walk by. I was five when I first came to live with my foster parents, and now I’m 13. It’s amazing how time flies by!
April 2, 2017
My New Family
Have you ever been a foster child? I have! I am going to tell you how I went from being a foster child to being part of my forever family. I got dressed for court. I looked nice. I had a purple and brown dress on, but I was still scared. I was afraid the court would tell my mom and dad “No, you cannot adopt your girls. They have to go with their brother.” But I got adopted, and after that it was fun! I had a good time with my family. I went to school and everyone was happy for me. It was also a special day for my family. Everyone said that my dress looked nice. I felt so good about myself. That was the best day of my life.
15-year-old Marla is Annie’s older sister. Marla has mild to moderate intellectual delay and has maxed academically at the 3rd grade level, but she still has visions of becoming a fashion designer! Marla also has a twin brother and is on her cross country team at school.
March 28, 2017
Hi. My name is Annie, but it hasn’t always been Annie. In fact, I haven’t always had my last name either. Let me explain.
I don’t remember many details from the beginning, so I’ll share what I remember and what I was told. When I was 1-year old, my mom left. She left my five siblings and me with my dad, his new girlfriend, and their two kids. Things were never really good, but they were ok. About the time I turned two, my oldest sister started school. Her teacher noticed some things and reported them to the Department of Children’s Services. DCS came to our house to investigate and found what the teachers had reported: neglect. We were removed from our dad’s care and placed in foster care.
There wasn’t a foster home that could take all six of us, so they split us up. I was placed with my older sister and her twin brother. The older three siblings, our oldest sister and two brothers, were placed into a different foster home. We had visits with our siblings and dad. I don’t remember the visits, but my sister does, and she told me about them. My dad eventually stopped coming to those visits.
My sister, her twin brother, and I were in that foster home for three years. It wasn’t a happy foster home. The foster mom got in trouble with the law and we were moved to a different foster home, which was a very happy one! I loved it there! They had other foster kids and a little boy of their own. After we were there for a couple years, my brother started causing a lot of trouble. Our foster family thought it would be better for him to be moved to another foster home. We’ll probably talk about him more later. A little while after he left, my sister and I were adopted. This is when I was given the choice to change my name. A lot of people thought it was strange, but to me, it was a fresh start on life.
My foster family became my forever family. I was placed in this foster home when I was five years old. This month, I’m turning 13. I have a mom, dad, biological sister, and my brother and sister that became my siblings when I was adopted.
Being a foster child is never easy. There are so many feelings no one can understand. But I’m here to help! What I always say is that you have to believe that bad things happen for a good reason. Maybe a child being put in foster care leads to an amazing ending. I know it did for me.
How about you? I’ve told you my story, and starting this month, I want you to send me your stories! You may also have questions, so send me those too!
“Ask Annie” is the brainchild of a 12-year-old North Mississippi resident who wanted to reach out to other children, like her, who are either in foster care or have been in foster care and are now with their forever families. Annie says that when children are in foster care, they feel hopeless and have no faith, and that’s where she comes in. Annie wants to talk to them and tell that everything is okay, that sometimes bad things happen for a good reason, and that there is hope! “Ask Annie” is equal parts advice column, blog post, Q&A, and old fashioned pen pal letter, and we hope that children in foster care will write in with their stories, their thoughts, and their questions. “Ask Annie” is there for them!