I was born on a Tuesday… November 30, 1993. My mom was so strung out on drugs when she was pregnant with me that she couldn’t think of anything more clever to name me other than Tuesday, so… That’s my name; Tuesday Marshall. I’m seventeen years old and I’ve been in foster care since my mom died when I was eight. She over dosed. In a few months I will age out of the foster care system once I turn eighteen. Its been a rough ten years, but I’m glad to say I made it. The last few foster homes I was in were not so good. The family I’m with now though is pretty decent. They treat me well and I haven’t had the fears or problems I that I once had in the places I was before I came here. My foster-mother, Faith talks to me a lot. She tells me to not dwell on the bad things that have happened to me in my past. Its kinda hard to do that though since some of what I think about has happened to me not so long ago. But Faith (I think her name itself is the key here) has given me a new hope for my future. This is my story.

When I was younger, I can remember my mom being ‘sick’ a lot. She was always sleeping and she had tons of sores on her arms from where she did bad things with bad people. I used to see her sometimes when she thought I was asleep sticking herself with needles. There were a few times when different men would stick her with needles and one even stick himself with it too. I didn’t quite understand at the time, but once I was older, I understood fully what went on back then. I never said anything to her about it. I never let her know that  I knew about the bad things she was doing to herself. My mom was never mean to me or mistreated me, she was just so hooked on those drugs, that she didn’t really have much time for me at all. She took care of me the best way she could with those drugs running through her body. I never knew my dad. When I was like six years old my grandma told me about my mom having another baby before she had me. I had a brother, but he died before I was born. My grandma told me that my mom was so sick that it made my brother really sick and his body couldn’t take being that sick so he died. I think if my grandma would have been in better health when my mom died, she would’ve taken me in. But she didn’t have the strength or good health to see about me. She loved me though. Thinking back, I can remember the despair in her eyes when ever she would talk to me about my mom and her ‘sickness’. As if she knew it wouldn’t be long before the drugs would kill her and then I’d be left all alone.

When my mom died I was really detached. I didn’t cry or let myself feel any emotion. I guess it was because she was never really an affectionate person, so while I felt badly, I wasn’t sad. In a way I was glad she couldn’t hurt herself any more. My grandma was pretty distraught when I had to go into the foster care system. Like myself, my mother was an only child. So there were no aunts or uncles who could take me in. I was eight and had not been very well taken care of so I lacked a lot of social skills. I was quiet and reserved. I kept to myself a whole lot in the beginning. When people would come to look for kids to maybe adopt, I felt like the social workers directed them away from me. Or maybe it was just my imagination, or my very low self-esteem. I didn’t know what kinds of things people would learn about me from my file, but I was sure they’d know my mother died of a drug over dose which, I thought would be a sure stamp of disapproval. No one would want me.

The first foster home I was placed in was okay. The lady, Nancy was very bubbly and talkative. She didn’t like the fact that I mostly kept to myself and didn’t open up to her. She thought she was doing something wrong, when really, I just wasn’t used to that much attention. I didn’t know how to take it. I really didn’t want to get close to anyone because I wasn’t sure how long I would be there or if I’d be moved some place else. Nancy had three other foster children, but no children of her own. One boy in particular, Joshua, was very sneaky. He always did things he wasn’t supposed to be doing and would try to make it seem like one of the other kids did it. Needless to say, I didn’t like him very much. None of the other kids either from what I could tell. I did kind of make friends with the other girl there. Her name was Serena. She was eight like me. She was kinda quiet like me also. Her mother’s boyfriend did things to her that no one should do to a little girl. Her mama didn’t do anything about it so she ended up in foster care. Serena was sweet. Sometimes I would hear her crying at night. I got in bed with her once just to make her feel a little better. And I think she did because it wasn’t long before she fell off to sleep. I ended up leaving Nancy’s house after about eight months. I was sad to leave Serena, but I knew I just had to move on to the next place they would be sending me off to.

The next foster home I lived in for a little over a year. Things there started out okay. But after I was there for about nine months, my foster-mother, Tracey started to change. She would yell at me, and she even hit me once. I didn’t know what to say or do. So I crawled into this small shell and hardly ever came out. Tracey had one son. He was thirteen. He didn’t like me too well. He called me a freak and a weirdo a lot. When it was my birthday, Tracey bought me a journal with a matching pen. She told me I should write about my life and my feelings and stuff. I did sometimes, but I was a little worried if I wrote anything about what I really felt, someone would read it and I would be in trouble. One journal entry was something like this:

I sometimes feel like I’m not wanted here. She acts like she likes me and that she wants me to be here, but I don’t really feel right. I miss my mom sometimes. I really miss my grandma. I wish I could call her and talk to her. Tell her how things are going. Tell her how much I love her and miss her. I wish she didn’t have to be sick and I wish she could take care of me. I know that’s a lot of wishing, but that is how I feel. Sometimes at night I lay in the bed here at this place that is not really home, but its a place warm and I do feel safe, and I think about all the times I wished my mom would have just given me up for adoption to someone else who would love and take care of me the way she wouldn’t. But now that I am here; I only want my mom. I miss her. I want to cry. But I don’t want anyone to ask what’s wrong, Tuesday? So I just lay awake and I think.

It was about two months after my birthday when things started to get bad with Tracey. She became mean and she used to yell at me a lot for little stuff. I knew it wouldn’t be long before it would be my time to leave her house and start over some place new… again. I didn’t mind it at all though. I was ready to leave. Sometimes I wished I was a bird and could fly far, far away.

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