What I Wish I Could Have Said to My Foster Parents

When I was 8 years old, I was called out of class to come to the principal’s office, immediately. I strolled through the hallway, happy to be missing French grammar lessons. By the time I arrived at the principal’s office, my sisters, Franny and Etty, and my big brother, Patty, were already sitting outside, arms folded and legs kicking at the air. What had they done? What did I do?

My baby sister, Etty, was in the first grade. She was the smallest of us. So we entertained her with stories as we waited.

When they finally brought us in, there were police officers, a smiling lady with moon eyes, and my principal standing to greet us. My principal had lost his usual chatter and his domineering stance.

There was a lot of talk of us being “safe now.” But we were questioned by the police officers for hours, not allowed to return to class and — worst of all — told we couldn’t go home.

Instead, the smiling lady drove us two impossibly long hours away to a large country house, where, for the first but not the last time, we were welcomed to our new “foster home.”

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