Moving In Garbage Bags

   

 

 

THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS HAVE BEEN A BLUR OF ACTIVITY. ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS. I AM IN THE PROCESS OF WRAPPING UP A JOB, WHILE HAVING STARTED ANOTHER. TUITION HAS BEEN PAID AND MY COURSES REGISTERED FOR THE START OF THE UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR.YET THE BIGGEST CHANGE HAS BEEN HAVING TO MOVE. MOVING HAS ALWAYS BROUGHT ON A INNER STATE OF TURMOIL AND ANXIETY FOR ME THAT EVENTUALLY SPILLS OUT INTO MINI BOUTS OF CRYING AND OVERWHELM. IN THE DAYS LEADING UP TO MY MOVE I REFLECTED ON MY INTENSE EMOTIONAL REACTION TO MOVING AND EXPLORED THE REALITY THAT THIS MOST LIKELY STEMS FROM MY TIME AS A FOSTER CHILD.

I WAS IN AND OUT OF FOSTER CARE FROM BIRTH UNTIL THE AGE OF 3 AND HONESTLY HAVE NO RECOLLECTION OF THAT TIME IN MY LIFE. I RE-ENTERED THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM WHEN I WAS 9. I REMEMBER ASPECTS OF THE NIGHT IN SUCH VIVID DETAIL, LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. I HAD ALREADY GONE TO BED AND MY ROOM WAS A ROSY GLOW FROM THE SUMMER SUN SETTING, THE FAINT SOUNDS OF CHILDREN STILL PLAYING FILLED THE OTHERWISE QUIET EVENING. IT WAS A NIGHT LIKE ANY OTHER NIGHT - UNTIL MY ADOPTED MOTHER CAME TO MY ROOM, ASKING ME TO COME DOWNSTAIRS. MY BARE FEET EMBRACED THE COOLNESS OF THE STAIRS AS I CLENCHED THE RAILING, ALMOST AFRAID TO LET GO. AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIRS I WAS GREETED BY TWO STRANGERS, WHO INTRODUCED THEMSELVES AS SOCIAL WORKERS. AFTER THE FORMAL INTRODUCTIONS , WHICH WAS FOLLOWED BY QUESTIONS, I WAS TOLD I WAS GOING TO NEED TO GO WITH THEM. 

I DON'T REMEMBER WHAT I WAS ABLE TO TAKE WITH ME THAT NIGHT OR WHAT IT WAS PACKED IN - BUT I CAN STILL FEEL THE HEARTBREAK AT BEING REMOVED FROM WHAT I HAD CALLED MY HOME. SADNESS, CONFUSION, AND ANGER ENGULFED THAT LITTLE NINE YEAR OLD GIRL. FEELINGS THAT I HAVE PACKED AND CARRIED AROUND WITH ME EVER SINCE, BAGGAGE THAT SEEMS TO HAVE NO OTHER PLACE TO GO.

A PART OF ME WANTS TO SAY THAT AS A  FORMER FOSTER KID WITH 15 YEARS IN THE SYSTEM, THAT MOVING GOT EASIER, YET IT NEVER REALLY DID. YOU SEE, EVEN TO THIS DAY I  STRUGGLE TO MAKE SENSE AND PEACE WITH EVER HAVING HAD TO ENTER THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM TO BEGIN WITH. ALL THE BAD STUFF DOESN'T SEEM TO COMPARE WITH THE ACHING SENSE OF NEVER REALLY HAVING A PLACE TO CALL HOME, AS WHAT HOME WAS SUPPOSE TO BE CAN QUICKLY AND WITHOUT WARNING, VANISH INTO THIN AIR. 

SO TODAY WHEN I MOVE IN GARBAGE BAGS, I KNOW THAT I AM ABLE TO DO THIS OUT OF MY OWN PERSONAL CHOICE. YET I AM MAKING THIS CHOICE WITH A PURPOSE. I WANT TO REMEMBER WHERE I HAVE COME FROM AND REMEMBER THAT THOUSANDS OF FOSTER CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN CANADA, EXPERIENCE THE REALITY OF MOVING THEIR BELONGINGS IN GARBAGE BAGS, WHEN THE ENTER FOSTER CARE OR ARE EVEN MOVED TO ANOTHER FOSTER HOME. MAYBE, JUST MAYBE ONE DAY, WE WILL FIND A WAY TO ENSURE THAT EVERY FOSTER CHILD AND YOUTH IS GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE A HEALTHIER TRANSITION IN MOVING BY BEING PROVIDED WITH A BRAND NEW SUITCASE.