A photo of two people holding hands.
credit: Sgt. Maricris McLane / U.S. Army

I’ve been through some difficult times with family, foster homes and back-to-back institutions, such as Forest Haven, Mable Glenn and D.C. Receiving Home.

My mother didn’t tell me where my daddy was when she came to my foster homes. And I didn’t get a chance to ask her either. At 9 years old, you don’t have a mind like that to ask your mother questions.

My foster mother was abusive. She hit me with an iron cord and would put me in the basement after she hit me. I wonder why someone would take in another child and abuse them. My mother was still living at the time, and she didn’t know about it.

But my mother died when I was 9 years old, and my foster mother wouldn’t take me to the wake after the funeral.

Fourteen years ago, they put me into St. John’s Community Services, a place that takes care of people with disabilities. I appreciate that I’m living a good life now — off the streets and in an apartment. But I’d like to share this life with my family. I had a recent meeting with St. John’s about this.

My case manager and I talked about how my brother always makes excuses to keep from seeing me. Two years ago, he asked to see me. But when my case manager went to pick him up, he wasn’t there. He’s always with his friends and doesn’t have time for his sister. I have problems trying to figure that out. The last time I saw him I was 18.

From 18 to 59 is a long time. If he really wanted to see me, he would have made arrangements with my case manager by now.

St. John’s also said they will help try to find my father. I hope someday that he will come forward and find me, if he’s still alive.