gallery Dear Adoption, Foster Care Sucks 


Dear Adoption, Foster Care Sucks 

I had to be removed from my home because I wasn’t safe and I understand that. But that does not mean that leaving wasn’t hard. People might not understand but leaving my abusive parents was the saddest and hardest day of my life. Yeah, of everything I have suffered through in my life, leaving my own parents when I was 5 years old was the worst.  

My social worker sighed excessively in my presence. She was always bothered by me and by my case I guess. I was always apologizing. She would say, “It’s fine. It’s the job.” She never said it wasn’t my fault or apologized to me. I hate her for not making the transition easier for me and for making me feel like any of it was my fault. I was carrying burdens of abuse and heartache. I shouldn’t have had to also carry her hatred for her job and for, well, me.  

Foster care was a series of homes that weren’t home. Foster care was feeling out of place and walking on eggshells. Foster care was terrible. For me, two foster homes brought on more abuse. One was purely mental abuse and I remember thinking I would rather the abuse be directed toward my body because at least that ends eventually. The mental abuse went on forever. My last foster home became my adoptive home. My foster/adoptive brother abused me starting from day 3, when I was 7 years old, until I left the home at 17. When I tried to tell my “mom” I was afraid of him she said her home was the safest place I could ever hope to be. I won’t detail my abuse but whatever you’re thinking, yes, that happened to me. If my social worker had given a damn about me I never would have had to endure more abuse. Everybody failed me. My own parents failed me. My social worker failed me. My 4 foster homes failed me.

I spent the last 22 years since leaving “home” allowing people to hurt me because I assumed I was someone who deserved to be failed.

No more. No fucking more. I’m too tired. I’m going to start taking care of me now and I will take care of me better than anyone has. I’m going to take my fractured version of what home is, patch it together and make it beautiful.  

PJ is an adoptee and former foster care kid who grew up in Massachusetts. She is now a free spirit moving from place to place in search of home.  

May is National Foster Care Month. DA, will feature some stories of those who have experienced foster care and adoption. 


  1. No one should go through what you went through. Please remember to always have compassion for yourself. This is not the same as self-pity, which could hold you back. When we don’t receive compassion from others, it’s especially important to have compassion for self. View yourself as a survivor because that is what you are.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your essay makes me wish I could help foster kids.
    Visit with them or listen or read or take a walk together.
    I’m so sorry you suffered so.
    Yes love yourself and feel the love of everyone who reads your story.
    We are rooting for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I was recently in an independent Marathi film, takes place in Delaware, and I played a social worker. I tell the leads in the film that their friend’s orphaned child should go live with their family in India because our foster care system is awful. As an adoptee, it was interesting to push the “go live with family vs foster care” line. My heart bleeds for those who go through what you did. You are a survivor.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah, foster parents know only two things: THat you need some good, old-fashioned discipline! (ignoring the fact that this is why many of us were removed into foster care) and that there is no possibility that you’ve ever heard of Jesus Christ before, and they need to introduce you to the man. Oh, and the fact that your parents must be bad people…….

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yeah I’m in foster care right now and it freaking sucks. I’ve been in 1 home befor, that was emotionally abusive. They put me in a respite that was physically abusive now I’m in a home that I feel safe in, and I like the people, And I just found out they don’t want me after a month of me being here. Oh and my birthday is tomorrow and I just found out today. So yeah it’s stupid and 9 times out often I’ll be sent to a freaking abusive household.

    Liked by 1 person

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