I was with my bio mom until I was 4. I am not sure what happened, but I was taken from her at 4 years old. I was moved to Maine after being adopted. That didn’t work out. I think they gave up their rights because they were unable to locate the services I needed. So at 12, I was placed in a group home. I was there for 2 years. I went to public high school while I was there and then when I was 14, I was placed in foster care. There was abuse towards me there so I was taken out of there about 8 months later and placed in a new foster home in Northern Maine. I was there for about a year and a half and then I went to Kids Peace (another group home). I was there to get some extra help I needed and stayed there for almost 2 years until the state found me another foster home.
When I was 16 I was moved to another foster home. This was a good one! The only good one. I stayed with them until I was 19. I wanted to try to live on my own so I left there. I stayed at one of the shelters until I got arrested a few nights after being there. I went to jail for 6 months and then got out and went to another area shelter. While I was still in jail, my Community Care Case Manager started meeting with me and making a plan for when I was released. We did paperwork in there to get things started. I was put on probation for 2 years and at this time I have less than a year left.
While I was in the shelter, my Case Manager helped me get a housing voucher and find my own place. We worked on getting my SSI back and were able to do that. She helped me with probation. I started attending the Clubhouse daily and looking for work. I wanted to try to work so I got a part-time job in March. In the beginning, I worked about 6 hours a week. Since then, I am full-time. I like my job and the people I work with.
I am doing well now and I continue to work with my Case Manager at Community Care, who supports me with issues that arise sometimes. I am in a much better place in my life right now and I plan on continuing to do well.
I lived in 11 Foster Homes, 4 Group Homes, 2 Shelters, 3 other places like crisis, and was incarcerated.
The abusiveness in some of the foster homes I was in was tough. Even when in a foster home with abuse going on when it was time for a new placement it was tough not knowing where I was going to be going or if it could actually even be worse. Being incarcerated was tough because I didn’t know what was going to happen to me for so many months and the routine was tough for me to handle daily.
The shelter was a little difficult for me but not nearly as much as jail.
Some of the best parts of my life are having contact with my biological mom for the first time in 18 years this month, it’s one of the best things that has happened to me. After talking with her and learning I have siblings that I didn’t know about is very exciting. Being able to get a job for the first time in my life this year has been one of the best things because I am making money and I feel proud of myself.
I can talk to some people I trust. When I was young and had some workers and doctors that helped me, it was good to have them to talk with. Now I feel like a part of my community because I am working, I go to the Clubhouse and have made some connections through them and with my Case Manager from Care. My Case Manager at Care helped me to find housing, with legal issues, my basic needs, finding doctors for me. They have helped me with all of the goals I had in my mind.
I started work in March 2016. The best part of having my own place and working is having money, no curfew, making my own rules, and having something to look forward to every day.
I am planning on going to Washington State to meet my bio mom. I have some plans to go to school at some point for auto tech. I want to hopefully move to Washington at some point.
I would tell other kids and young adults who have been through stuff like me to never give up! If you keep trying then eventually things will work out.
That about sums up who I am and what got me here.