Why can’t kids just go home?

 

Questions swirled this week as to why children must be in state care. Many proclaimed, “They must be placed back with their families”. “It’s the only logical response, send them home. “ “Children are always better off with their families”…….

I was up early this morning thinking and this came to mind…..

Hi. I’m now 15 but when I was four and my sister was six we were taken off the streets where we had been abandoned, rescued by a pastor. The pastor had a rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol addicts, but he picked us to prostitute us on the streets. It wasn’t for some time until someone else rescued us from the pastor and we were taken to a great place where we could grow and thrive.

I never knew my family nor have I ever met a family member. I grew up in a great home but at age 7 was forced to join a group of boys who offered me protection and love. That led to seven years of sexual abuse and rape, and then I made some poor choices that I should have gone to prison for. But a judge locked me in the government home before I was transferred to a home where boys like me are given forgiveness and hope.

The situation in my homes life was horrible. Homes, because I was bounced from house to house, as my father and mother fought over me like I was property. Finally, no other family member would have me so an uncle took me in. He abused me until I fled and ended up on the streets where some friends offered me hope and I ultimately ended up at the Youth Ranch.

The abuse in my home grew intolerable, and let the judges kept sending me back to my family. Finally, I fled and ended up in a street gang. In the gang I found love and attention that I’d never found anywhere else before, but that stopped when I got locked up. While I was locked up I realized where my life was headed and after almost a year was offered a chance to move to the Ranch where I am so happy to be alive and loved.

I do have a mother but she cannot care for her children. When I was two weeks old she wrapped me up and took me to some nuns and handed me over. “I don’t want him” was all she said. The nuns raised me. My mother still says that she does not want me. I try to visit with her but she doesn’t care if I am alive or not. I have no other family who could take me in.

I never knew any family other than the other children that grew up at the orphanage where I lived. When I was ten I was told that all children had to go to other homes. One day I was given away and ended up at the Youth Ranch where I discovered that I truly do not have a biological family, but I do have a family who care for me now.

I was sexually abused by my mother, an uncle, cousins, and my brother for seven years until one day I dared to speak out and seek protection. I was taken to court where they believed me and after a long trial some of my family were convicted for their crimes. I lived at the Youth Ranch and that were I became strong, learned to thrive, and discovered who God had made me.

I delivered my first sibling when I was seven-years-old. My mother is a severe alcoholic who spends her days on the streets and in bars. Soon I helped to deliver two other siblings, because my mother didn’t trust doctors or midwives, so I was her midwife. After a while it became clear that we could no longer live safely with her so we were moved to an orphanage. Later I chose to live at the Youth Ranch and I began to overcome the trauma of what I had lived as a child.

I was abused and neglected for as long as I can recall at an orphanage before being rescued by Human Rights. I was not sure what would happen to me and I was very scared. A man came and told me he could take me to a safe place, but I didn’t believe him. I couldn’t trust anyone and just wanted to die. Because I had no family police and a judge forced me to go with him, but soon I realized I truly was in a safe place at the Youth Ranch. I now realize God put me here to help me grow into a positive young man.

I wanted to see if I did have family, and so one day I ditched my life and ran away from where I was living. After months on the streets I found an aunt and a brother, but both said I was not wanted and that they couldn’t care for me. So I sought a new place to live and now I’m fifteen and have found my true home at the Youth Ranch.

I was on the streets because my mother didn’t care for me or feed me. If I wanted clothes, or I wanted food, I had to work or steal to get them. I preferred to work. I’m only eleven, but I have already had nine jobs. If you tell me how to do something, I can quickly learn how to do it. My mother gives her children away and she cannot care for them, so now I have a home that provides for me so that I can be a normal child.

I lived with my mother who was very poor. She couldn’t care for all of her children, so as soon as we were able to work we learned to work in coffee plantations. At age fourteen I had worked for seven years, but had never been to school. When my mother moved and abandoned me I was given the opportunity to move to the Youth Ranch. I’m now in seventh grade and I’m loving school and life.

My mother’s new boyfriend threw me out on the streets when I was age 7. I lived on the streets for many years before coming to the Youth Ranch. I wanted to go to school, learn new skills, have a family, and always have a meal of good food on the table. I’ve found that at the Youth Ranch. I’m now deciding what I want to be as an adult and I’ll soon turn 21! I go back to visit my mother regularly and check in on her. I’ve forgiven her and now help her and my step-siblings who barely survive.

Before I came to the Youth Ranch I was miserable and hated life. I attempted suicide at least ten times because my life made no sense. I do have a family but only my mother and brother care anything about me. They allow me to visit once and awhile, but they don’t really care if I come visit or not. I am now making important life choices and I want to go to the university and have a formal degree.

I was arrested and heading for prison for having impregnated my thirteen-year-old sister. I lived alone with her and my father when this happened. But a wise judge saw through the situation and through some quick thinking and fake DNA tests she tricked my father into confessing. My sister was sent away to another home and my dad was sent to prison for a long time, since he’d also been raping two of my cousins. At fourteen I was lost and hopeless until the judge sent me to the Youth Ranch. Now I’m rebuilding my life.

My mother died when I was born and I lived on the streets with my alcoholic father and brother. I spent a lot of time in jails and at the government orphanage before a judge allowed me to move to the Ranch. Here I’ve found love and acceptance, a father who guides me and corrects me, and a real opportunity to thrive in life. I love living here more than on the streets or in jail. My only family now is my brother who still lives between jail and the streets.

 

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Mark Wakefield

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