Does my adoption make me an anomaly? How many Black foster kids actually get adopted? According to https://adoptionnetwork.com/adoption-statistics there are 428,000 children in foster care and only 135,00 being adopted each year. How many of those 135,000 are Black or African American? "Among these children males outnumber females, African American children are disproportionately represented and over half are 6 years old or older". What happens to the children that are never adopted? Based on what was expected of me growing up, not much that is good. Most foster children that never get adopted are homeless because their foster parents put them out on their 18th birthday, parent earlier than they are ready, are so angry, depressed, and desperate for survival end up in and out of jail or mental health facilities.
The fact that I was actually adopted makes me an anomaly. One of the lucky ones.
I was placed with my last foster parents when I was three years old. My adoption was not finalized until I was twelve when they found out the check, they would no longer be getting for me as a foster child would be turned into a check they would be getting for my disability.
On paper I was the typical foster child. I was expected to have issues of some sort my whole life and maybe I do but not the issues that were assumed I would have.
When I was in elementary school, I was placed in special education classes where I remained until my sophomore year of high school. There seem to be a believe that all foster kids were broken and lower functioning. I was diagnosed with ADD because it was either impossible to keep me in my seat or I was asleep at my desk. I had a hard time concentrating and staying focused on any one task for any length of time.
The truth is I never got a good night’s sleep. I was being molested at night. The truth is I never got a really good meal outside of Sunday dinners. My mother believed in saving money on food by going to any food bank or taking old food from friends. Because "Lord knows the state don't give enough money to really feed all these kids". We often had to pick mold of bread and eat it anyways, scrape mold off of bologna and eat it anyways, and eat stale cereal. All this while they ate steak and sea food, had new clothes, and a new car every year.
Because I was a foster child and there were no high hopes for me. When I got a grade "C" in any class or on any test it was celebrated. Even a "D" was celebrated because that was considered passing. "Great job"!! and "You are doing so well" is what they would say over my "C" average. I learned to do just enough to not fail. In high school I had an English teacher that would go over book reports with students one by one at her desk in front of the classroom. I usually sat in the back of the class until it was my turn. I never cared to hear what she was saying to the other students. One day I felt that I had done even better than before so I sat in the front eagerly waiting my turn. She was going over Bella's book report. She was so upset with Bella. She said "how do you expect to get into college with work like this? What is going on with you? I am used to you doing "A" work and this is "B-" at best and almost "C" work. I expect better next week". I imagine Bella had overheard the high praise I got for "C" work and tried it. I was so shocked. The teacher had never said that to me about a "C" book report. I asked her did she think I would get into college. She laughed and so "oh no honey, just try not to get pregnant, focus on getting a job if you graduate high school. Maybe you can get into Junior college". It was in that moment I realized she did not think I was as good or smart as Bella.
The fact that I went straight to San Francisco State University and actually graduated and went to graduate school makes me an anomaly too.
When I was growing up one really asked me what was up. The many child psychologist I saw were scary and I did not trust them with my truth. The adults around me believed they knew what was up with me. I was a foster child. That's just how they come and anyone that deals with them must be saints to put up with the head ache. My adopted parents where saints and I was the lucky one. I did not get moved around from home to home to the streets when I turned 18. I was adopted by people who actually wanted me. Because of me they had a normal looking family. Looking like a normal family with God fearing saintly parents and lucky kids is what mattered most. I was lucky to be an anomaly. I was adopted.