Third Foster Home Diary Entries Age 14

Before you, the reader read these entries, I wanted you to know that there are some very upsetting things you will read about in here in relation to the foster setting. Over a decade after I wrote these entries I found out that Sunshine, one of my social workers, did believe what I told her and she was able to get these kids removed from the Warped’s. I had spent a decade feeling that I had failed these poor kids, but they were saved. This woman, who was in her 20’s, fought for me and other kids in the system while Clearwater County turned a blind eye to the atrocities going on there.
When speaking to others, from Bagley and Bemidji, Clearwater county continues to hire young people who have no background in social work to run their social services program. I have heard numerous reports of other children being treated in similar ways and the county doing nothing about it. If you feel angered by what you read here I strongly recommend calling your local state representatives and demand a policy change mandating that anyone who works in the child welfare system MUST be a trained social worker.

December 22, 1999 Age 14 Sunshine gave me this book yesterday for Christmas along with a Walkman, and a pair of pink pajamas with yellow ducks on them.  It is getting late now but I want to write in this book not the day’s events but my feelings and thoughts that pop up during the day.
                Right now I’m sitting here watching You’ve Got Mail and I’m wondering why I’m here.  Why does my life have to be this way?  Why did my parents do to me what they did.  And sometimes I wonder what it is with my friends.  How can they go to school day after day, with all of the troubles going on in the world, and be so upset because they forgot to finish a stupid worksheet for class? What is up with that?
           Here I sit in foster care getting used to a new home, waiting anxiously for court in February to find out the date that I move in with a stranger who used to be a friend of my mothers who lives in Green Bay, WI.  I will have to leave all my friends and people I know.  I have more to tell you but I have to go to bed now.

December 23, 1999 Age 14 Sorry I haven’t written every day.  I’ve been so pissed at the world right now.  I’m mad at Winter, my little foster sister.  She is such a snot. You see Fred, me Dennis, and Winter take turns dumping the mulch.  In that order.  She has a bad memory but instead of taking that into account she says she did the mulch even though she can’t remember what day she did it.  She absolutely refuses to listen to reason and won’t do it.  I told her to stop arguing and wait for Mae to come out so we could discuss it with her but she kept on it and wouldn’t stop trying to prove her point.
                Mae just came out of her bedroom and sure enough she confirmed that it was Winters’s turn to do the mulch.
                Dennis is driving me crazy.
                Yesterday I went to my mom’s house to exchange gifts and get the rest of my stuff. I got a little angel from mom and Sam, candy and a wooden kind of instrument. 
                I went upstairs to pack the rest of my stuff when suddenly my mother came up the stairs telling me that I couldn’t pack the rest of my stuff.  Luckily Mae came up stairs behind her and was there for the whole thing.  She told my mom that Annakin had given her permission for me to come and get all of my stuff.  She forbid me from getting it saying that she hadn’t ruled out the chance of me coming back.  What a liar.  She is the one who ordered an OFP at court.  She is the one who said she wanted me out of the house.  I’m so mad.  I hate her. She makes me so mad. 
                Well, I’m going to eat breakfast now.  Talk to you later.

December 31, 1999 Age 14 Well here I sit waiting for the New Year.  What a confusing year this had been.  Last year I was sitting in the Mike and Jene’s car with Mary in Bemidji outside of the Food-4-Less grocery store waiting for Jene to get the groceries and see if we were going to do anything else.  We had just gotten done bowling and didn’t know if we were going to do anything.
                I remember I was sitting in my black butterfly T-shirt. I sat there in the car, like I am now, remembering the past year and all that had taken place.  Last year I started with the memory of sitting outside on a snow bank listening to my father say that’s the New Year kids now get to bed.
                I saw, through the window, my father take another long drink from his wine bottle.  I knew that I had better get in soon because I did not want to pass in front of him if he was drunk.  I remember that as I thought of that a burst of tears came out.  “Why,” why is my life so hard?  I remember I sat there crying for a while and I remember saying out loud “well God, now that I believe in you isn’t my life supposed to be perfect? Like my friends?  Well, when will that happen?”  I remember after saying that I  burst into another burst of tears. 
                I sat there crying for a while, then I wiped my tears and as I started to walk towards the house I looked up at the sky and said “God, if you’re really there, please help me. Please help my life get better. I can’t take it much longer.”
                That was the start of the year 1998.  Well in that year God didn’t make my life perfect the way I wanted but he did help it get a little better.  Three months later on March 23 my life took a turn in the right direction.  I ran away from home to Leslie’s house after my parents had beat me near to unconsciousness.  I told Leslie’s mom what my parents did to me. 
                I don’t even know what good came of going there.  She brought me back home despite my red eye, red face, bruised wrist and crying.  My parents though had, oh never mind you already know that story.  I’ll just say the following events without a long story.
                I went to Evergreen for a month.  I had my 13th birthday there, then I moved in with Joanne.   Then sometime in August I moved in with the Mike and Jene.  Then came the year of 1999.   I sit here now remembering the past and what happened.  I remember the last New Years Eve, sitting in the car stating that there was no way that I would move back in with my parents.
                Well summer came and I got a job at Pine Ridge through CEP.  Two weeks before July, I found out my parents were getting a divorce.  One week before July, I found out from my brother Adam that my dad had had an affair.  I moved home in July.  I went through five months of hell and then on November 24th I moved out of my house because of my mom lying saying I pushed her when she had tried to strangle me with a phone cord.  Now I have to wait until February to find out if I am going to move to Green Bay, to live with a lady named Dolores who is an old friend of my mom’s that I don’t even know.
                It’s funny.  I sit here looking at the book I’m reading called Anne of Green Gables.  To think of all the things that have happened in the past century.  The death of Jesus.  The finding of the new world by Christopher Columbus.  The French and Indian War.  Our revolutionary war against Great Britain.  Our Revolutionary war against the North and South, WWI, WWII against Germany which included the holocaust (the murder of those thousands of Jews!).  The first man to ever touch the moon.  Satellites, computers, women’s rights, black rights, Bill Clinton (worst president). My life.
                To think of all the things that have happened in the last century I am left spell bound.  I wonder what new changes will occur in the next.  Even though I will not be here during the whole part of the next century I will watch it from heaven.  Now I will stop writing until the New Year.
                Goodbye Liz Waibel of 1999.  I hope next year will be better and that you will be happy. 11:15PM.
                Well I’m still here.  The world did not end and I’m still breathing.   I wish you a good night and a good night on every night in the future.

Adult me wants to insert clarification for the last sentence above. That New Years was Y2K. For those of you who were not alive at that time, people believed that computers were going to crash and a type of apocalypse would happen. I had stayed up until midnight to see if the world really would end.

January 3, 2000 Age 14 I am so mad.  Not at anyone in particular but at what I am.  We (Annakin, Sunshine and I) were talking about the lady I was going to live with.  I found out I had met the lady when I was six.  Sunshine asked Annakin when my mom and Dolores had met and he said nursing school.
                Suddenly, for no reason, I realized I’m Like Her!!!! I know it sounds kind of weird.  I mean I’m barely like my mother at all.  I don’t look like her.  I don’t think like her.  I am not as mean or conniving as her, but I realized one thing.  My mother had wanted to be a nurse and care for people when she was older and her first job was as a candy striped nurse.  She found that the work was hard and even though you wanted to help people you can’t in the way you want because of rules.  Like comforting someone who is sad could be called sexual actions.  
                I felt the same way.  I want to help people too.  The only difference is that I want to go into teaching in the Peace Corps.  What’s the same also is that I want to preach about the Lord in my work and so did she.  But when she stopped believing in the Lord she gave up on her wish to help people and wanted only to help herself.
                I have to, or should set, the table now.  So they don’t have to remind me.  Bye. 
                Well dinner is over and I’ve decided to dedicate this last 55min before bedtime to writing.
                School starts tomorrow and I’m dreading it.  I used to hate vacations that were over two days long.  Even though kids teased me I still didn’t dread school as much then as now.  I have to remember though that back then I was afraid of going home for a long amount of time because of the misery I would endure there.
                But now there is a new cause.  It’s not just kid’s teasing me but it’s the fear that any second someone might come up and push me to the side and start to beat up on me.  It’s not being beat up at home I fear but being beaten up at school. 
                I know what you’re saying. “Gosh I sound all wound up over nothing. Why don’t I just tell?”  Well in case you have forgotten I did tell.  I told Mr. F and Mrs. B.  When kids continued to threaten me I told The Principal.  Well telling did no good. Mr. F took me and the other party into his office and told us if he hears any more tattling, or about anything bad going on from either side, he is going to suspend one being tattled on and the tattler for five days plus he’s going to call a cop to come to school and file a file of disorderly conduct on both of us.
                So you say “then don’t tell.” Well that telling also includes, said Mr. F, If one kid starts beating on me and one of my friends goes for help and I didn’t do anything to defend myself I still get suspended.  So my problem is what do I do?  What if I get into that situation?  Mae, Sunshine and Marie all tell me to sit down on the floor and yell at the top of my lungs.  Well that sounds kinda like a good idea.  It would catch the kids off guard.  I wouldn’t exactly be tattling, and I won’t have to stand there and let them beat on me until something happens.
                But there is the downside. If I was to see a kid in the hallway say that and I wasn’t me I would think that kid was weird.  I already have kids shrinking away from me and I don’t need everyone else to. Yet if I was the one beating up on that kid, I wouldn’t beat on them in a public place again.
                Yet the humiliation of doing that gets to me.  I ask myself What Would Jesus Do and the answer is the sit down and yell one, but yet I am tempted to fight.  If I do the yell idea kids might think I am weak and an easy target.  So the one answer that stares me in the face is to fight.  I could fight.  Win easily (except if I’m against Wild), win and scare some off from fighting me.  Ill get suspended either way so why not do the one that ends most of my problems?
                Now don’t go thinking I’m a dumb kid who doesn’t see the consequences of fighting because I do.  1. I would be responsible for someone’s pain. 2. I could be sued. 3. Someone might want to fight me because they want to see if they can beat me. 4. The kids friends might decide to all gang up on me for revenge.
                If you wonder why I am not naming names it is because there are more than ten kids I have to worry about.

January 5, 2000 Age 14 Hey. I saw Leslie this morning.  She say’s I look like I’m sad.  I was surprised for a moment but then I realized I’m always sad.  And who could blame me with the stress I’m going through.

January 6, 2000 Age 14 Well I finally get to sit down and wright.  I finished all of my English work last night so I have nothing to do for the rest of the hour.
                This might sound stupid.  No, forget that, it’s crazy.  Care thinks Wild is possessed with demons.  I don’t know what to think.  Is sounds so ridiculous yet…  Wild has a lot of characteristics of one.   People who are possessed with demons don’t have to be people running around crazy.  They could look just like you or me.  Even Jesus encountered people possessed by demons.  He didn’t tell them “get lost you frauds” but he took it seriously and heeled them casting the demons into the bodies of pig’s who then jumped off a cliff.
                If I’m a true Christian I can’t say demons is a bunch of a old legend because then that’s denying the Bibles truth. It just seems silly to believe something like that.
                Wild is pretty weird.  She’s one of the reasons I don’t like coming to school.  She has this almost evil like presence about here.  Her face is drawn tight and her eyes are dark and hard.  And when she looks around she almost looks like a vulture looking for its meal.  The other part about her is her ability to pull others down with her. 
                Take, for example, Michelle, she never used to hang around people who were rude and mean to others.  She always thought for herself.  If she was bored about something her friends were talking about she would go and find something else to do.  But now she seems to have a spell over her.  She would sit down at the lunch table, not be included in any of Wild’s conversations, and yet sit there like a faithful dog until Wild and her friends would stand up to dump their trays.  She would walk by Wild, as if her whole being depended on being by Wild.  But not happy and joyful, more like she was a sleep walking.
                All of the other kids who hang out with Wild are the same way.  Even your old best friend Wmma.  And not only that, if you thought Emma was mean before you should see her now. It is the same with Michelle.
                So if Wild is possessed with a demon what can I do about it besides pray?  Wild wants to beat me up so it’s not like I could have a friendly conversation with her.  There’s one more thing.  I just realized she seems to only like being friends with non-Christians or people who are unsure about their faith, like I used to be.  I was her friend until I became a Christian.  She had three friends who all were unsure about God.  After being friends with them she got them all to hate each other, Jen and Unique to be non-Christians, and Melissa in a state of utter confusion on that matter. 
                Well class is almost over so here is a note to myself to remember to write down Care’s and my argument about the value of education.

January 10, 2000 Age 14 Dear Journal, I’m sorry I haven’t written in so long.  I’ve been busy and lazy.  On Thursday I came home to find out that my mom had called and talked to Mae for an hour.  She told Mae that she was planning to move in less than a year because I’ve ruined her chance of having any life here.  What a lying B#!?9. 
                 She also says that she absolutely forbids me having anything to do with my counselor Marie.  My mom claims that Marie is performing mal practice.  What a liar.  Marie is nothing like that.  I know my mom is just doing this to make me feel unstable.  I hate her.  Marie has been with me since the beginning.  I need her.  I don’t want to start over with a new counselor. 
                Do you know what else? My mom says that she doesn’t want me to ever have contact, including mail or phone, with my sister.  Well all I can say is tough noogy.  On Thursday there was a pep fest at the end of the school day.  When I sat down on the bleachers I noticed that some of the 6th graders were sitting on the other side. As I sat there looking I saw my sister sitting by herself.  While the wrestling coach was speaking I said bye to my friends and left the bleachers.  I asked Mr. F if I could sit by my sister and he said yes.  So I walked over to the other end of the gym to sit with her.  I sat there and talked with her through the rest of the pep fest.  She said she didn’t even recognize me because I look so different.  I wear new clothes and my hair is short now.
                Well if my mom doesn’t want me to see my sister she will have to pull Sam out of school.  If worse comes to worse I will skip class to see her.
                I’m watching Spice World.  I haven’t seen this since I rented it with my first foster sister Nicole.
                Before I go on with the rest of the events that have kept me busy I want to tell you about what Care said.  I mentioned Education was one of the most important things in life and she said it wasn’t.  She said she could just go and get a job without an education.  I tried to explain to her that in the old days you could but now in the world today you can’t even get a job at a burger joint without a high school degree.  She still didn’t want to listen to reason.  Well if education isn’t so important then how come she cries whenever she gets a grade lower than a B? 
                I have to go try to ride the exercise bike now.  I was finally able to walk without crutches today.

January 11, 2000 Age 14 Well after Thursday I had surgery on both my knees so that’s why I didn’t feel like writing.   You won’t believe what happened while I was at the hospital.  
                When we first went in there and I was sitting in the waiting room and Mae was in the bathroom my mom showed up and started talking to me.  I didn’t listen to what she said but sat there looking for Mae.
                 When Mae came out my mom started talking to her and then she handed me a bag of TAMPAX! What kind of a gift is that? Then my mom tried to talk Mae into leaving me at the hospital alone and going to lunch with her.  Mae said no.  Then she left and that was the last we thought we would see of her.  Mae was shocked at what had just happened.  Mae said that just the day before my mom said she wanted nothing to do with me.  She never wanted to see me again and yet she showed up at the hospital. 
                So anyways, I went in for surgery at 10:00AM. When I got out and the nurse was pushing me towards my room another nurse quickly came out and told her to put me in another room.  Then I fell asleep.  Later, when I woke up, the nurse told me to keep my voice down because my mom was just around the corner and she was trying to find me.  A few minutes later my mom passed the door and, with the help of the nurse, we hid my head under the blankets.
                EMae came in later to tell me that my mom had been in a rage trying to find me.  The nurse had almost called security once when my mom had slammed her fists down in anger.
                My mom admitted to beating me to Mae.  I can’t believe my mom. What my mom did is like something out of a story. 

January 20, 2000 Age 14 Well here I am sitting out here on the front porch waiting for the moon to turn blood red.  My pen is freezing and refusing to let ink out because it’s about -10F.  But lucky enough there is no wind.
                The lights from the house and the porch light are keeping it bright enough for me to wright.
                I’m kinda pissed right now because one of the kittens peed on my black Nike bag. The reason I am so huffed up about it isn’t because it is a brand name bag, but because grandpa Kenny, my old foster grandpa from my first foster home, gave it to me and it is one of the only things I have left to remind me of him.  The other two things I have from him are my back pack and a stuffed gorilla drinking a can of Pepsi.  It is at my real moms.
                The moon looks like a corner of it is starting to shade in.  According to Tempest the moon is supposed to come into the Earth’s shadow causing an eclipse and the moon will turn blood red! Like in the Bible.  This will be the first eclipse I will actually ever see.  I remember there was one I saw in Marinette Wisconsin when I was in second grade, but I was in school at the time so I didn’t actually see it.
                Yep, the moon is definitely starting to darken on the lower left corner.  It’s kind of funny to think that at this same time Tempest is watching the eclipse from her house.  I finally have something to talk to her about that I would have seen too.
                My foster sister Jen is coming out to watch it with me now so I’m gonna go.

January 21, 2000 Age 14 The solar eclipse last night was so cool.  I still can’t believe I was able to see an eclipse.  Jen, my foster sister, took pictures of it as it covered over. It took about an hour for the shadow to cover the moon.
                Right before the moon was completely shaded I was looking at the sky thanking God for the world he created and the beauties in it when suddenly a shooting star flew by the south side of the sky.  I was so excited I yelled to Jen “A shooting Star”.   She tried to stand up quickly from her position on the ground and sprained her ankle.
                I have seen shooting stars before but for some reason this one seemed different.  It was bright and instead of flying by fast and disappearing in a few seconds it stayed there flying by fast and disappearing in a few seconds.  It stayed there, flying by for about five or six seconds.  I feel as if God sent that star to remind me that he is there and even in the bad there is good.

January 24, 2000 Age 14 Well, I can tell by looking at the date of my last entry it has been a while since I wrote to you.  So much has happened in so little time.
                First, after school on Friday Sunshine picked me up at the front office.  We then went to Kubiacks and picked up a snack.  Sunshine bought me a bottle of Pepsi and I bought myself a bag of Twizzlers. We then went to the social services building.
                When we got there Sunshine and I went into the conference room and watched a movie Dolores had sent me on her house.  I love her house.  It’s so cool.  It’s everything I always wanted in a house.  There are also so many things I could do there.  I could take dance, gymnastics, swimming lessons, and drama at the YMCA.  There are 3 YMCA’s there.  There is also a theater and Dolores said that I could get a job as an usher.
                It would be the life I have always dreamed of…but…I’m confused.   I mean part of me wants to stand up and yell “yes that’s where I want to live. That’s where I belong,”  and yet there’s a part of me that feels like it would be wrong for me to go there.  I mean people always tell you to chase after your dreams.  To make your life count.  To take whatever chance you have to make your dreams come true and grab a hold of it.
                But like I said, there is a part of me that feel like that is wrong.  I mean, this is my life, not a story I’m writing.  I can’t put myself in an exciting situation with no feeling of pain and get myself out of it just as easily.  This is where I have spent the last four and a half years of my life. I have friends and ties here.  I have memories of things I have done here.  I have made something of myself.
                If you were to go to my past teachers and say my name they always talk about what a hard working independent, bright child I am.  If you went to the library Ginny would tell you of how at the age of ten I started volunteering at the library and would work at the book sales every summer during Art in the Park.  At my church, Calvary Evangelical Free, I am known as the young girl who would always come to church every Sunday even when she had no one to motivate her.  I would go to church and participate in everything I could.  They always mention my singing voice.
                Most people who know me from the community know me from band concerts, choir concerts, plays, and from my solo act at the summer talent show at the county fair on the Grand Stand. They know me as the girl that baby sat choir kids at the Lutheran church. The girl who taught their kids at the after school program.  Teens in other schools know me for my Titanic speech and as the girl who only won medals on the two hardest meets before state.
                The students who will graduate in 2006 and were in my second grade class know me as the comical girl who came and showed off some artwork, did a few acts, and handed out Fizz candy.
                To my friends I am known as a kind and considerate who is always there when they need help.  Even my enemies know they can count on me.  Amber said school is not the same without me there.
                To my foster families, even Mitch and Jene, I am known as a strong willed girl who thinks things through.
                To the social workers and counselors I am known, well I’m not exactly sure what I am known as to them.
                But my point is I have made a name and place for myself in this town and community.  If I leave I will have to start all over and it will be in a much bigger town where I will never be well known.  I won’t recognize every one that I see as I pass them on the road.
                I also am afraid about the feelings of my foster family and friends.  My foster family has become very attached to me and don’t want me to leave.  I don’t want to hurt their feelings by leaving.
                My friends told me they would really miss me if I left but they will stand behind whatever decision I make.

January 25, 2000 Age 14 I don’t have much time to write no but I want to continue where I left off. 
                I’m still confused about what decision to make.  My friends aren’t any help either.  When I tell them the bad parts of moving they tell me to stay.  When I tell them the bad parts about staying they tell me to leave.  I’m sort of leaning towards leaving but it is like wanting to own something.  Once you get it it’s not as special or important anymore.
                If I do decide to leave though I would be starting all over, I won’t know anyone and I won’t have my two counselors Sunshine and Marie.
                I don’t know what to do. I feel as if I am drowning and my only two choices are to keep swimming in the same spot hoping someone will find me or swim out farther where no one knows where to look.
                I have to go.
                Well I’m mad now.  Lately I have started swearing again.  I know I shouldn’t but I can’t help it when I’m mad.  Anyways, Leah and Kristen just told me at lunch that I have to stop hanging out with Tempest, Marita, and Melissa because they are a bad influence on me. 
                Where in the heck did they get the idea that they could tell me who to hang out with?  Jest because someone swears it doesn’t mean they are bad.  I mean, I used to swear all the time and it didn’t hurt me. I’m a kind compassionate person that has a dirty mouth.  They have no right to blame my other friends for my actions.  That would be like me blaming Tammy because Leslie killed her sister.
                It’s stupid.  Leslie told me she noticed I swear around Tempest and them.  Well maybe that’s because I know I shouldn’t swear around Leslie.
                I still don’t know who I want to live with.

                I feel more and more like I should move to Green Bay.  I have so much anger pent up inside of me.  Well to continue my list of things that have happened since Friday I shall now go to my next event.
                My foster parents Donald and Mae are going to give me two horses.  I am going to get them on Thursday.  One of them I hear is a high strung snotty horse named June, and the other is a tall lazy horse named Oscar.  I get to pick between the two which one I get but I have to take care of both of them.  The horse I pick will be mine until I leave.  Now that may sound cool but it makes it all the harder to leave.
                I talked to Danny on the phone last night.  When I first started talking to Danny I felt as if I wanted him to ask me out.  But as I talked to him I realized I really don’t want a boyfriend.  I want a boy like Sammy.  Most girls compare the man they marry to their father, brother, grandfather, but because I have neither I only have the long lost memory of my friend Sammy.  I miss him so much.  Oh why did he have to move?  What was God’s purpose in this?  I miss him so much.   I miss our talks up in the tree in the park while the sun set.   I miss our walks on the frozen stream in winter and railroad, and woods all seasons.  I miss being able to turn to him when I needed help.  I wish I knew where he is.
                I still remember the first day I met him.  It was in 4th Grade.  He came during an inside recess in the middle of winter.  Because the teacher wasn’t there I let him out his things on my desk and introduced him to my friends.  We never knew at that time that we were neighbors.  We soon became good friends.  I would go over to his house and help him with his homework.  He was the first one I ever ran away to tell about what my parents did to me.  Now, whenever I meet a boy and start to like him I think of Sammy and suddenly pick out all that boys faults.
                I never would have thought at the time that Sammy would have such an effect on me but he was.  I only wish that he would move back.   I love him dearly.  I never got to say goodbye to him because he left when I lived in Bemidji.  It’s kinda like our friendship had unfinished business.
                I feel as if I am going to cry.  I have to take a shower now. Bye.

January 31, 2000 Age 14  I have so much to tell you.  I got my horse’s.  They are both very cute.  Oscar is 5years old.  He is tall, black with a brown nose.  He looks like a big donkey.  June is a 2 year old quarter horse.  They are both quarter horses.  June is kind of tall, she has rust colored fur with black legs.  June and Oscar are both in bad shape though.  Their hooves   nails are so long that they look like human feet. They are also cracked.  They are both covered in cockoburs.  They are stuck all over their manes and tails.
                Mae took Winter and me down to the barn to ride Purple.  Everything went wrong.  I rode on horse’s when I was 11 years old in Girl Scout Camp, and when I was 12 years old at friends’ houses.  Mae said I lied about having ridden before because she said no one could know as little as I do if they had ridden before.  She said that I needed to stop lying all the time because no one would ever believe anything I ever say.  I’m not lying.  I did ride before. Many times.  Why do people always think I am lying?

Oscar and June

10:02 AM.    I did it!  I took the test.  The test I have been waiting for since I heard about it in third grade.  It took me all most 90 minutes to do it but I did it.   Now I get to sit here and write to you until 10:47 because no one else is done.   On Thursday we’re taking the second part of the test.  I’m nervous about that one because it is the math part.
                Oh Diary, my head in is a whirl.  I don’t know whether I am up or down.  I still can’t make up my mind about where I want to live.   I have a lot to tell you about the Green Bay subject but first I must tell you about Tempest and my private meeting.
                Yesterday Tempest wrote a note to me in in social studies saying she needed to meet with me privately.  I wrote back to her that we could meet in the band room during lunch.  At lunch time I quickly ate my pizza and went to the band room with her.  There I saw Tempest in a whole new light.
                Last Friday I skipped band to help the teachers take Tempest to the EBD room. She was throwing a fit at the teachers so her mom was called to come and get her.  I stayed with Tempest in the EBD room until her mom got there.  I told her that if she ran away from school I would follow her to make sure she was alright.  I told her I would never leave her. Because of my actions that day I was able to reach a part of Tempest that she said no one had ever touched. 
                So that brings us up to yesterday.   When we went into the band room Tempest told me why she had been so upset on Friday.   Her mom had a miscarriage.  They did not even know she was pregnant.  The reason that she had the miscarriage was the grandmother found out that her mom was having sex and forced her to take a birth control shot.
                Now Tempest is stuck.  She does not know what to think.   She already has five siblings that she has to raise on her own ages 1 ½ to 10 years.  Tempest had been wishing that her mother would never have another baby but she never wanted an already living sibling to die.  Her mother was so sad when she had the baby she refused to see it but now they don’t know what happened to it.   It could be anywhere from cremated to thrown in a garbage can.
                I feel sorry for Tempest.  Then she told me why she is not a Christian.  A year back her aunt got cancer and she, her mom, and almost the whole town were praying for her to get better. Despite their prayers she still died leaving behind a 5 year old and a 7 year old.  Now the father is dirt poor and moved into the country where they are 25 miles away from the nearest neighbor.  Tempest is worried because if something were to happen to the father or the girls it would be too late to get help. She is also worried because if the dad died the girls would have nowhere to go.   I don’t know what to do to help her.
                New Subject.   Before I started writing in here I had been reading the Diary of Anne Frank. As I read this book I have discovered that we are very much alike, even though we lived in different times.  The effects of the war caused her to grow up faster in her mind than the normal kids her age and I too grew up faster in my mind because of the harsh life I’ve gone through. 
   This is so cool! The power in the school went out 10 minutes ago and the generators won’t work.  It is so dark in here.  I can barely see this page.  The weird thing is the schools electric clocks are still working.  
                Well the power has been out for an hour now.  I can’t believe we are not going to go home early.  Mr. F told us that all of Bagley has power except us.
                Mr. M says that the power went out this morning and that the generator kicked in .  Then for some reason the generator thought the power came back on so it turned itself off and now they can’t get it to go back on.  This is so much fun.
                I am upset about one thing. The bathrooms are closed because they wont flush and I have to pee bad.  
                Mr. F said that they gym area is pitch black so instead of going to the gym I stay here in the pod and the gym teachers are coming to us.  NO FAIR.  I wanted to run in the dark. The hallway is pitch black too.
                What are we going to do for lunch?  This is what happens when people depend on technology to always back them up.  This sucks But it is fun in the dark hallway.

February 2, 2000 Age 14 I received a letter from Dolores, the lady in Green Bay, about two days ago.  She will be able to come out here this month to meet me.
                I’m so confused.  I don’t know what to do.
                I had a dream last night, I can’t remember the specifics, but what I do remember was a Christian man helping me make the best decision for my spirit and the best choice for my soul was Green Bay.
                I have this nagging feeling in my stomach like Green Bay is the best choice but it’s hard enough losing my childhoods solid ground.  If I stay here I will know what is going on around me in the social world, and who I can trust, and if I leave here I will be losing my childhood foot hold and my present one as well.
                I don’t know what to do.   Every time I think of leaving Leslie, Tammy, and Sammy’s faces flash before my eyes.  I see Sammy and I sitting in the tree in the park by my old house.  I see Leslie, Sammy and I walking on the frozen stream in the woods. 
                But that was then and in the past.  That will not be in my future, even if I stay.

February 3, 2000 Age 14.  Well I did it.  I took the basic skills math test.  I have now taken the two most important tests of my life.  I was, or am the second to last done with 17 minutes to spare.  I took my time and worked out each problem to make sure I would get them correct.  Despite how long it took me I have a good feeling I got 90% correct.  Believe it or not the 80 problems on the test were easier than the problems on all of those packets we have been working on in Basic Skills since the 7th grade.  For some reason I feel like I did better on the math than the reading even though I’m better at reading.

February 4, 2000 Age 14. Dear Diary, I remember when I was a kid. In the summer I would always go on walks in the woods with my friend Sammy. Sammy was my best friend. Sammy had been abused by three different men his mother had lived with. Sammy knew that my family did bad things to me. Almost every night Sammy and I would sit in the tree in the park behind my house. We would talk about many things, like people at school, what we wanted to be when we grew up, our likes or dislikes, what our dreams were and about the life we had lived and were living.

I could tell Sammy anything and he would not laugh at what I said. When I went into foster care in 1998, I was never able to call or tell him that I was safe now. He and his mom always encouraged me to get help. One day I called my sister up to see how she was doing, only to have her tell me that Nathan and his mom had to leave the house they were renting, because of the bats in the attic, and that they were moving to Saint Cloud in the morning. I asked my sister for number of the motel he was staying in and then called him. When I was finally able to get a hold of him we talked for a while about things. I gave him my address at Joanne’s, and he promised to write. I said goodbye and hung up. I haven’t seen or heard from him since.

I miss having Mrs. Frank for a teacher. My 8th grade teachers are nice, but they are not the same as my 5th grade teacher. Mrs. Frank was the first teacher to ask me about the bruises on my body. When I would tell her I fell down or walked into a door she would tell me she didn’t believe me. She used to tell me about her abusive childhood and told me that to be free of that abuse she had to stop keeping secrets. She was also the only teacher to ever give me clothes, shampoo and deodorant. She used to give me time, in the mornings after flag patrol, to wash my armpits and face. When she gave me a bag of her daughters old clothes, shampoo and deodorant my mom was really REALLY angry. They complained to the school and she stopped talking to me as much in the mornings before school. I miss our talks. I would go to school an hour early just to talk with her before flag patrol. I miss her.

February 7, 2000 Age 14.  Dear Diary, I have so much to tell you but I only have a small amount of class time.  I feel like I have less time for myself lately.  I’m supposed to be writing an essay for English class but am writing to you instead.  I feel so lost lately.  The Warped’s seem to be getting meaner and meaner every day.   They aren’t really doing anything to hurt me like Mike and Jene but, I don’t know exactly what to say.  It is kind of like they want to control my thoughts.  I don’t know how to explain it better.

February 10, 2000 Age 14.  Man this year is going by fast.  Would you believe that mid quarter is this Friday?  It’s weird.  I feel as if I have grown a hundred years older.  I am on the last two pages of the Diary of Anne Frank.  I don’t want to finish it though.  Ever since I started reading her diary I felt like she was my inner soul.  She thinks and ponders about the same things I do.  She looks at the way of the world the same way that I do, even though she wrote these passages in 1942-1944.  I don’t want to stop reading it because then she will be gone.  She will have no new thoughts and ideas to explain to me.  I will no longer be able to sit there and talk her ideas out in my head.  She has given me a new wisdom in life, a new hope, now I know I am not the only one who feels the way I do.  I am not the only one who questions the world and how it runs.

February 17, 2000 Age 14 Please excuse my handwriting. I’m writing this on the bus.  I wanted to tell you something I did last week.  There is this new boy in school that no one has talked to the whole year.  I felt bad for him because he had no friends.  So on Valentines Day I sent him a candy gram.  When he opened it he sort of shook his head like he was disappointed.  I wanted to do something nice but I guess I am not someone he wanted a nice thing from.  Oh well.     
                I Joined Speech on Friday last week.  I decided to try Story Telling so during the weekend I read through all of the stories and acted them out or my foster family.  On Saturday we went to Grand Rapids and I acted out some of my stories for Cassie, my foster cousin, and my foster siblings.  Cassie loved it and said I did a really great job.
                I went to speech class on Monday and Wednesday this week. I got a cold on Monday.  I started coughing up blood on Tuesday, could barely talk on Wednesday, and today it feels like it is clearing up.
                Crystal did a drama speech on a girl who was abused yesterday.  When she stood up she said her first line which was “Everyday children are abused”.  Then she looked at me and said she felt uncomfortable doing her speech in front of me.  I told her it was okay and she finally told it.
                This week in gym we have been spending all of our free time at the hockey arena playing broom ball.  Even those without ice-skates.  The gym teachers divided the arena into two halves.  One for a less aggressive game and one for more aggressive.   Yesterday Tammy and I decided it would be fun to play the aggressive side of the arena.  I bet you will never guess who was down there.   All of the girls except Shayla were on the less aggressive side, and all the boys, you guessed it, were on the aggressive side.
                When Tammy and I got over there a jerk named Evan said we wouldn’t be able to handle the aggressive team.  He was wrong.  Not only were Tammy and I able to keep up with the boys, we were able to get a few swings at the ball too.  I guess the boys were mad that a couple of girls were able to keep up with them because they started getting mean.  Evan knew I had a bad knee so he shoved me down and stepped on my knee.  At first I couldn’t feel my leg and I was afraid I couldn’t stand up but suddenly as I looked at Evan running off laughing after the ball a new strength overpowered me.  I stood up, ignored the pain in my leg and took off after the ball. 
                Evan kept up after me and I was able to handle it.  Then Evan shoved Tammy and she had ice skates on.  She fell on her back and complained she couldn’t feel her shoulder.  I got so mad I took off after Evan and shoved him down.  He stood up, called me a skanky bitch really loud, then he puched me again.  This time Mr. U saw and kicked Evan off the ice.

Winter at the Warped’s

March 4, 2000 Age 14.  So much has happened since I last wrote to you.  One of the best things is all the snow is gone.  Can you believe it?  I’m going to have a green birthday.  Usually we are still having blizzards on my birthday.    I have so many things to tell you.
                I met the Dolores lady from Green Bay on February 14th.  She is a real nice lady.  I took her to my speech meet.  I won 5th place out of 16 kids.  I felt bad though because Corey has been in the storytelling category for two years and I, on my first try, scored better than he did.
                My one problem with Dolores is the fact that she is not a true Christian.  She believes in God, but she doesn’t believe in Jesus, we would not get along well in that category of my life.
                I am getting along with Evan now.   The reason I am is because he is now in speech and now that we play truth or dare on the bus together on the bus we get along.  I have to tell you two of the dares I had that won’t get out of my head.   1. I had to kiss Corey on the cheek.  I did not really think anything of it when I went to do it but the moment my lips touched his cheek my whole body went numb.  I had this tingly sort of sensation run up and down my spine.  His cheek was so soft and warm.   It felt like kissing a warm oven.  It felt so good.  Now I have more to tell you about that but I need to wait for a better time.   2. The next dare that I can’t get out of my head was the dare for Kevin to kiss my cheek.   I did not feel anything special when he did this to me but I guess the fact that Kevin and I hate each other and yet he did this is weird and confusing for me to understand.  Now everything I just told you about the dares happened on 3/2/00 on Thursday.  Today is Saturday and I’m not able to make it to the speech meet today. That makes me so mad.
                Anyway, when we got back to the elementary after our speech meet Corey waited with me until I left. I was the last one to leave.  Now I bet you’re probably saying that his ride might have come after mine, but it didn’t.  He lived two blocks away.  So he didn’t have to wait at all.  And to prove that, when my ride came he gave me a hug and we said good bye.
                Now as you know I have had a crush on Shane since last year.  Well I finally got up the courage to write him a note on Wednesday, gave it to him on Thursday.  He didn’t call me though like I asked him to in the note.  So I thought he didn’t like me.  But after what happened with Corey that night I didn’t feel so bad so I wrote Corey a note.  The minute after I wrote Corey a note telling him how I felt Shane came up to me and gave me a note.  I’m going to copy it down here for you.
                Liz,  Hey, I couldn’t call you because I went out and got back late so I didn’t know if I should call.  But I want to let you know it’s no for the reason I have somebody special.  You don’t have to be nervous around me.  I’ll be your friend if you have a problem or whatever you can call me and I’ll talk.  So what happened to the Mitch and Jene?  You used to stay there right?  Now where are you?
                My God how can you put up with Bob “Crab Apple tree?”.  He’s an asshole.  I told him I could not stand him so now I ride Bob Garlands Bus (Megan’s Uncle). Yeah, speaking of the Bitch, I really hate her. Well I gotta go.  Phone #)
Now this note might not seem like anything to you but to me it means everything.  I finally have someone to talk to who has a hard life too.  He is also 19 so he has more experience with life than me.  I’m going to call him the moment I get done writing to you.
                Here’s my problem though.  I called Corey last night apologizing for writing the note I did because now that Shane and I are friends I can’t like anyone else.
                I am definitely never letting anyone read this diary now that it talks bout Shane.  I usually don’t trust guy’s after…. You know…. Bubby, my foster brother, and Dan all did those things to me.
                Winter and I went for a walk in the pasture today.  We found this huge pond with ice burgs floating around in it.   I was able to get on one of them and then it started to float away from shore and I had no way to get back to land.  I tried hopping from floating ice chunk to floating ice chunk but some of them sank the minute I touched them.  I ended up jumping towards land and I fell in water up to my knees.  When I came to the house Mae told me that I had to strip naked to go across the tile floor.  I refused to be naked and took off running when she took a step towards me.  I ran to my room and changed before she could do anything.   I have to go to bed now.

March 5, 2000 Age 14 Well, I hate to start out entries in a bad and sour-full mood so I am going to describe what it looks like outside right now.
                The sky is a perfect light blue without a single cloud in the sky.  Yet, when you look straight ahead where the sky in the distance meets the ground it looks like a bluish white.
                The air and the temperature are perfect. Not too cold or too hot.  It’s perfect.  Just perfect.  Small light barely noticeable breezes come through now and again sending a weird sensation up and down your body where the wind gently kisses your skin.
                The grass is turning greener every second and I could almost swear I will be mowing the lawn by next week.  The sun is starting to get near the end of its day and as it gets closer to the ground it starts to turn a beautiful shade of orange.   In front of me I see the pasture with my two horses eating hay.
                To the west where the sun is setting I see the most beautiful shadows the sun is making through the tree branches.  In the distance I can hear the sound of birds chirping.   It is such a beautiful day.  I haven’t seen a day like this since….since I lived in Bemidji and went on bike rides or went roller skating with Nicole or Shelly.  
                I miss living in Bemidji so much.  Living in Bemidji was like a dream.  That place and life I had there, when I look back it was a fairy tale.  I miss it so much.  I even miss Evergreen.  That’s the place where my life went and changed for the better.   If only I could go back there.  But I know that if I was to go back now it wouldn’t be the same.   I just need to accept that that was the past and it is not time to move on.
                Oh I just wish this feeling of agony would go away.  But like it says in a book I read “If wishes were horses beggars could ride.”  It’s day’s like this that always make me remember the past and look forward to the future.  I wonder what is in store for me in the future.  I wonder if I will ever get married.

Oh my God, OH my God, OH MY GOD! I can’t believe it.  I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!! Ok. I’m not going to rush right through my excitement.  I’m going to explain everything step by step.  On the 26th last weekend Tempest and I went to my speech class in Walker. I didn’t make it to the final round so we decided to go walk around Walker by ourselves.  On our happy little walk I saw a moving sale sign and decided to see what they were selling.  I ended up buying a blue suitcase with a silver penny and a Catholic necklace inside. And I bought a phone. 
                That night when we got home and were eating supper Mae caught me hiding the weird pills she gives me in my napkin.  She says they are vitamins but I don’t want to take them because in school they said some vitamins are bad.  That night they made me stand in the middle of the living room with my arms held up at my sides for two hours.  Every time my arms dropped the added 20 more minutes.  It was only supposed to be an hour punishment.
                Well I was grounded off the phone yesterday for a whole week because I talked a few minutes past 9:00PM.  So this morning I got an idea.  I found a phone jack in my room that I was able to plug the phone I bought into.  The cord is hidden behind Winters’s dresser and the actual phone is under my pillow.  I called Tiffany 5 minutes ago because my foster parents are sleeping and would not disturb me.  Tiffany is Shane’s cousin and she said that Shane said he was going to ride on the bus with me tomorrow.  She said he wants to know where I live now so he can get me if I need to run away.

March 6, 2000 Age 14. Oh my gosh, one of my dreams came true. Shane rode on the bus with me.  At first I was too nervous to talk to him but I opened up after about five minutes or so.  We talked about my birth brother, my foster brother Danny, and a lot of other things.
                I asked him what he thinks I should do about my choice of moving to Green Bay or staying here and he said I should go with my instinct.
                He was really nice to me and when Kassandra were teasing me Shane stood up for me.  I really like how nice he was but I realized I don’t actually like him like I thought I did.  He is hot and sexy but he is not my type.  He does not know a lot about things that I know.  I like him as the friend but he is different than I thought he was.  He is nice but he swears and likes to cause trouble and break the bus seats and, last but not least, I don’t think he is a Christian.

March 7, 2000 Age 14.

  Every single time anything goes right in my life something comes along and makes it take a turn for the worse. 
I need to calm down.
                I love the cool feeling I feel outside right now.  The sun is down and the sky is turning from a bright blue into a dark bluish-gray. The air smells of dead decaying plants that smell so sweet, it’s as if I am in heaven.  I hope heaven smells like this.  I can smell the ozone which tells that rain is coming.
                  I love thunderstorms.  The problem is my foster mom Mae won’t let me go outside and walk in them when they come.  I’ll find some excuse to go outside though.  I always do. 
                I love the peace and quiet out here.  I can smell a light scent of pine, and dirt.  Whenever I am outside on days like this I either feel happy and glad to be alive like there is nothing wrong in the world, or sad and I remember the past.

March 8, 2000 Age 14.  GOD WHERE ARE YOU? Where are you when I need you?  I feel like killing myself right here in English class.  Help me!  I am falling back into the hole I came from. HELP!

March 16, 2000 Age 14.  Dear Diary,  I am sorry to write to you like this again.  I have been so miserable.  The Warped’s are dicks.  They are so mean to the other foster kids.  

I took this photo of my foster siblings, after they had been sitting on their knees for 2 hours as punishment for not eating their lunch fast enough. They were ages 6, 8, 10.

Shane used to take time to talk to me every day but he hasn’t this past week. He is always talking to the preps. 
                I don’t have much time to write so I am just going to give you some facts.   Annakin came to school this morning and told me they are going to have e fly on a plane to Green Bay.  He said I am going to have to go by myself but they are going to give me some pepper spray to take along.
                I feel like giving up on life.  Corey must not like me as a friend anymore because he has not spoken to me since our last meet. 
                I’m sitting on a lunch table at the entry way of the Elementary school cafeteria waiting for my foster dad to pick me up from my speech meet. 
                I just looked up at Corey and I couldn’t tell if he was looking at me or at my backpack. Why is he still here? Why won’t he walk home. Everyone else is gone.  I HATE this.  I have liked him for the past 4 years.  I must be one ugly detestable person to get all of the crap that I have been getting.  Why am I so hated?  What did I ever do to these people who are so mean to me? I have been kind and polite.  I tried being snotty and cocky like them.  I even tried helping them in all their tight spots but they all still hate me.  All of my friends are fighting with each other right now.   I HATE LIFE. 
                I saw my best friends Minnow, May and Jamie from Bemidji.  They are so different now.  We are all so different. I could barely recognize them.  I can’t believe how much they have changed.  I couldn’t even think of how to speak to them.  I walked with them for a short distance before I went back to my speaking room.   I miss my life in Bemidji.  I miss Joanne, Nicole, and Mike.   I miss my life.   I wish I was dead.
                I think I’m going to move to Green Bay.  Maybe I’ll have a life there.  Maybe.  I have to go now.

March 17, 2000 Age 14.  I am going to try to write to you before school starts.  I was feeling real bad this morning.  I was even feeling suicidal.  During 6th period English class we were taking a spelling test and for some reason, I’m not exactly sure why, I wrote the word death on my paper and handed it in.  Towards the end of class Mrs. M called me up to her desk and started an angry lecture with me about how death was a serious subject and if I ever wrote anything like that again I would get detention. I wonder, if I just killed myself, if she would treat other kids like me better.

March 19, 2000 Age 14. I hate this fucking world.   Every time things start to turn better they take a turn for the worse.
                Yesterday the Warped’s and I went to East Grand Rapids to celebrate the birthdays of me, Cassie, and Emily (my foster cousins).  When we were there Cassie begged me to go outside on a walk because she had some problems that were bugging her and she needed to talk to someone about them.
                I’m not going to tell you the things she told me because they are private, even though I feel like blurting them out loud to anyone who will listen after what she did to me.
                Anyways as we were walking around out there we somehow got on the subject of the punishments that Dennis and Mae gave us kids.  When I told her about us having to run around the house barefoot, and that sometimes our feet bled, she started yelling about that being abuse and that I should tell somebody.   Well then I proved what kind of an idiot I am because I told her that I had told my social worker Annakin about this on Friday.  She told me that she was happy that I did, but she hoped I would be able to get away from the Warden’s before they found out.
                The rest of the night went fine except for a fight Emily and Cassie had about Emily’s boyfriend.  We opened presents, ate some cake, and went home.
                This morning I was woken up early by Donald and Mae and was told to sit at the kitchen table.  Then it started. Mae telling me that she had been on the phone an hour with her sister Molly and she was told that Cassie was scared to death because I had told her a whole bunch of things about Dennis and Mae and had threatened her so she wouldn’t tell.  I denied everything about telling Cassie and I told her that I never threatened her.  I had only asked her not to tell anyone.  
                So Mae called Cassie and Cassie told Mae this:
                1.  They forced the kids to run around the house naked all the time.
                2. That when Donald put Winter in cold showers he would shut the door and “get off” on her.   I have no idea what get off means but it does not sound at all like what I had said.  I said he sometimes shut the door when he was in the bathroom making Winter take a cold shower, and other times rubbed her chest.
                3. Cassie said that I said that made the kids run around the house until their feet bled. I did not.  I told her about how their feet bled a few times.
Here is what I actually said to her:
                1. When the kids were being bad they had to run around the house and sometimes if they were not dressed for the day in time they would be forced to run around the house naked.
                2. That when Donald put Winter in cold showers he would sit on the toilet and watch her to make sure she did not move.  Once he had his hand on her chest and I think it was to hold her in there.
                3. Sometimes, when the kids weren’t behaving they would make the little kids run around the house without shoes or socks on which would sometimes make their feet bleed.
                I told Cassie the exact things I had told Annakin and that I didn’t know if it was wrong or not.   I told Donald and Mae this and they don’t believe me.
                Then they started telling me that I had made Mae’s dad cry for yelling at him for patting my butt.  I told them I hadn’t yelled, that I only told him not to do that. I didn’t like it when he would touch and squeeze it. Then they told me that I shouldn’t have said anything because that was his way of saying love.
                Who the fuck do they think they are telling me that I can’t tell someone not to touch my butt?  It makes me uncomfortable when people do that to me.  I should be able to tell people if they can touch me places or not. Who the hell do they think they are?
                Anyways, after they got done yelling at me they said they couldn’t let kids live with them who lied because they aren’t working with the family.  Then they let me go.
                So I went out, did my chores, came back in to have Mae tell me that I had to decide if I wanted to live here or not by tonight.  Well, I decided that if they were going to continue to call me a liar I would leave.  So I went into my room and started packing. 
                I was almost done packing when Donald and Mae both came in here and told me that by packing my things I was admitting to saying all of those things.  Now they are somewhere in the house.  They gave the kids a snack but I have to stay in my room.  I might be tired and hungry but I won’t give in and admit to doing something I didn’t do.
                I can’t wait until court tomorrow.  Maybe I will get out of here.
                Oh God, if you are out there please help me get out of this mess.  You’re the only one I can count on.   I have a feeling that none of my workers will believe me.  They never do.  HELP!!!

March 21, 2000 Age 14.  Dear Diary, I can’t believe what I have to write to you.  It’s not fair. It’s unwanted. I can’t stand it. 
                On Sunday, night after the kid’s had gone to bed Donald and Mae sat down with me and wanted to hear me tell them the “truth”.  I told them exactly what I had told Cassie but they didn’t believe me.  So they said they could not live with someone who lied like I did and told me to load all of my stuff in the van.  Somehow I made it through the day whole day without shedding a tear. 
                That morning I got up. Ate breakfast, put the rest of my stuff in the van and walked down my driveway for the last time.  Then, when the bus pulled up, I got on, sat down, and watched their home disappear out of my sight for the last time.
                On the bus on the way to school Winter and Fred cried the whole way there. I gave each of the kids one of the bracelets I always wore.  Winter got the anklet my sister gave me, Fred got the anklet I made, and Dennis got the bracelet Amber made me.  When I got off the bus at the high school, instead of heading straight into the school building I waved to Winter and Dennis as they drove away, that is possible the last time I will ever see them.
                When I went inside the school building I walked around the hallway that goes around the gym telling Ronny and Tempest what had happened and that I had court at 9:45 and would probably not see them until Tuesday (today) because I would be moving into a new foster home.  While we were walking I saw Leslie.  When I saw her I asked Tempest and Ronny if I could talk to her myself.  So they left and I told Leslie.  By the time first hour was about to start all of my friends had heard and were asking me questions.
                In math class Tempest and Ronny talked to me and told me not to worry about my new foster home. 
                At 9:15 1st hour ended and I walked out of the Pod towards my locker.  When I was in the hallway I met Leslie and Tammy out there. I looked at them both and talked as I walked away I told them I would see them at lunch.  I can still see their worried faces looking at me.
                I went to court that day and was taken to a small room with Annakin and I was told that after court I would go to Evergreen for two days and then I would move in with my old and first foster mom Joanne.
                Donald and Mae were there for the court meeting and after it I cried while telling Mae I didn’t say those things, and that I loved them.   And do you know what she said (while crying too).  “Why do you show all this emotion now and not before.  You need to learn how to cry.”
                Then, now if you don’t think that everything I have just written was bad, wait till you read the second part.
                Sunshine fought with Annakin for me to be allowed to go back to school and get my things. A police officer drove me to school to pick up the few things I had left on one condition,  that I get it all in 5 minuets.  This, I think, was the worst part.          
                I ran to my gym locker and emptied everything out. Ran back to the office, dropped those things off with, then ran to my normal locker, used the com I have been using since 7th grade (46, 36, 26) and took out all of my school books.  Then, walking as quickly as I could, I went into the science room, tears dripping down my face, walked up to Mr. M and handed in my school book while saying “I’m moving to Bemidji” so here’s my book”.  Then quickly, before he could say anything, I walked out of the classroom and into Mr. H’s.  I did not even raise my eye’s in his room for fear of seeing Leslie. I would have broken down on the floor if I had to say good bye to my best friend.  I handed him my book saying the same thing to him as I did to Mr. M and went to my English room.  
                In English they were watching a movie so I had to step over the TV cord.  Like an idiot I looked at the kids in the class and saw Tammy looking at me in horror.  She stood out in her orange shirt.  I quickly turned my gaze from her and walked up to Mrs. M, gave her my book and as I started to say what I had in the other two rooms a sob escaped my mouth.   Mrs. M heard what I said though and stood up to hug me.  She told me I could write to her anytime.  I said thank you to her and then quickly turned around and left.
                 Next I went into my math room.  As I walked into the room several kids looked up at me but I dared not look because I knew Care and Corey would be among them.  I handed Mr. O my book, told him I was moving, and left the classroom as quickly as I had come in.
                I then ran down the hallway and got my stuff, and went to the office.  On my way back to the office Derek, a boy who used to tease me, explained to the kid I was walking with why I was crying.  He said “they are making her move again. Third time this year.”

March 22, 2000 Age 14. Well now that I finally have time to write to you again, last night after school with Suzie we went to Smart Skate.  Now let’s start off where I left off.
                When I got to the office Mrs. C (speech coach) was there.  When I saw her I gave her my storytelling speech book and explained everything to her.  She told me I could keep the book, and I wanted to, but for some reason I refused.  We hugged and said good bye.
                Sunshine met me in the office with the police officer. Amy and I then drove to social services and dropped off my stuff.  I met Donald and Mae there and said good bye.  Sunshine and I then drove to her house where I saw Mr. M.  I told him almost everything and said good bye.  Then Sunshine drove me to Evergreen.  On the trip here she told me that I might never see her again.
            After I had been here (Evergreen) about an hour Chris came here to tell me that instead of going to Joanne’s they were going to fly me over to Dolores’s in less than a week.   Now today the plans have changed again.  Instead of me flying over Dolores is going to drive up here and pick me up on the 30th of this month or the 3rd of next month.
                Lord, I feel so lost now.  I am getting along with the kids here.  For the first two day’s I hung out wih a girl named Angel but she left last night and a new girl came named Becy.   When she leaves she is going to try to get me some cigarettes to try.  I know they are a sin but I feel a weird itch to try something that she says might make me feel better.
                The older boy here is named Brandon.  He is a member of the Vice Lord’s (a dangerous gang).  He is nice to me and I to him but I am still kind of scared of him.
                There are two little boys here.  The black boy is named Koran.  He was here this last October when I was here on the bus trip to Valley Fair with Social Services.
                I miss Leslie so much, and I don’t even have a picture of her here to look at like I did exactly two years ago tomorrow when I first went into the foster care system.
                My birth mom has come to visit me the past three days but I didn’t like it.  Today she lied saying her rights weren’t being taken away and she made me say she was my mother.  She is also trying to bribe me to stay with her for the weekend.  Fat Chance.   She probably wants to hit me more and say I deserved it. I hate that Bitch.  Please excuse the language I have been using but the world has been pissing me of lately.  I feel like being nice and not swearing makes the world be meaner. Maybe if I start fighting back the world will get better. Maybe if I am tougher and swear, and am not as nice it will be less mean.
                I am going to go read now.  I hope you (me) live to read this in the future.

March 23, 2000 Age 14. Today’s my second anniversary of running away from home for good.  Whoever would have thought I would end up here, at Evergreen again. The best thing ever has happened. My old best friend Sierra, the one I lived next to in 3rd grade when the murder happened, she came to Evergreen too and we get to share a room together. Her adoptive foster parents have been abusing her badly, they used to the last time I saw her, and she had started running away from them a lot. If that Dolore’s lady doesn’t come Sierra and I are going to run away to France together.

April 9, 2000 Age 15. Dear Diary, I am in my new foster home now, but I guess it is time for me to fill you in on all the latest details.   On March 30th, Sunshine picked me up from Evergreen and drove me to the high school to say goodbye to all of my friends.  I had made all of my friend’s embossed cards the night before at Evergreen.   When I got to the school I went straight to the lunch room.  When I saw Leslie she was walking towards the tray dump area so I yelled her name.  She didn’t hear me and the preps were looking at me funny but I didn’t care.  I called her name a few more times before she finally noticed me.
                I was so happy to see her.  I gave everyone their cards and talked to them for a few minutes.  Sadly, when I asked them where Tempest was they told me she had been taken away from the school in handcuffs.
                I tried to give Kathy card that I had made her but she walked away from me.  No matter how mean she had been the past few weeks I am sad to know that I will never see her again.
                When the bell rang I walked Leslie to her classroom and then, on my way out of the pod, I gave Tammy a hug.  When I heard Kristen say “how touching” I felt like pounding her in the face.  I then walked down my hallway for the last time and opened my locker for the last time.
                After that I walked down to the band room to say goodbye to Mrs. L.  She was my band teacher since 5th grade.  She told me that she would miss me, and she wanted me to take care of myself and to write to her.  I then went to the choir room and said goodbye to Mr. L.  Who would have guessed I would stop liking him when he would give into the preps saying it was unfair that I had two solos this year and him giving my last one away to one of them?
He is still one of the best teachers I had here. When I would break down crying and hide in the soundproof band rooms he would come and sit with me and tell me I wasn’t alone and then let me scream and yell as long as I needed to.
                Before we arrived at the school Winter gave me my birthday present, it is a white stone shaped like a book with a black stand on the back. On the front it has a blond haired girl with a brown and white dog.  The print says “Some people come into our lives and quickly go… Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.

April 18, 2000 Age 15.  I don’t write to you much anymore do I?  I am not going to lie to you and tell you I haven’t had time to write, in truth I have been too lazy to.
                After we left the school (3-30-00) Sunshine took me to social services.  She went into the back room to talk with Annakin for a while and I started to watch the movie Little House on the Prarie.  At 2:45 Sunshine came back from the office and hugged me good bye.  Then I watched her drive away.  I might never see her again.  She believes in evolution so she might not even get into heaven. 
                Dolores’s car broke down in St. Cloud so instead of picking me up at 3:00PM I went to my moms. 
                We picked up my sister at Sarah’s house and Kyle was there so I got to say goodbye to both of them.  Sarah had let me hide out at her house when my mom started being mean to me again back at the beginning of this year. She is in my sisters grade but she and I became good friends.
                Then me, my mom, and my sister at at Darooze Pizza.  When we got home my sister and I went down to the stream by the railroad tracks and followed it into the swamp.
                I have so many memories there.  Emma, Sam and I building the raft.  Leslie, Tammy and I throwing rocks in the stream.  Sammy, Shane, Sam and I skipping rocks. Sammy and I walking on it the last winter I ever spent with my parents when it was ice.
                I miss Sammy so much.
                I fell into the stream when I tried to cross it and so did Sam, so we went home and put on shorts.  Then I taught Sam how to shave legs.
                Dolore’s showed up at almost 7:00PM and Sam, Mom, Dolore’s and I  went and ate at Angelenas. Before we left Dolores gave us money to play Ms. Pack-Man.  It was fun.
                Dolores and I then went to bed. 
                The next day Dolores went and saw Annaken for the last time and then went back to the hotel where Sam came over and rented movies.
                Tammy and Anna stopped over in the morning to say good bye and Leslie did that night.
                My mom came over and we ordered pizza.
                That night my mom and sister left and I never saw them again.
                6:30AM the next day Dolores and I started our long 13hour drive back to Green Bay.  We stopped in St. Cloud to trade her rental car in for her jeep.
                Then we drove back to Green Bay only able to go 55MPH and arrived in Green Bay at 7:00PM.
                When we got here we unpacked my plastic bag of clothes and when I came upstairs I found a dozen roses in my room from Dolores.
                The next day we did the laundry and then we went out to eat at Red Lobster.  I had never been to such a fancy restaurant before.  We bought an ice-cream cake at Dairy Queen and took it over to her parents’ house.  I like her parents.  I am going to e-mail Ronny now.

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Published by lifefromtheashes5332

Hi, I’m Elizabeth. I am a wife, mother, gardener, adjunct professor, philosopher, former foster child, former homeless adult and Master in Social Work. My website covers all the things listed above!

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