neglect

‘It was at the hands of his babysitter, who was a family friend. Yes, we knew her.’: Mom ‘petrified’ after learning babysitter abused infant son, insists her shaken baby survivor will still ‘have the absolute best life’

“I was at work and received a phone call. ‘Eli is asleep but kicking his feet and won’t wake up!’ I called the ambulance since the sitter had not, and left work immediately. I was petrified by what she told me, but totally confused. He was fine just a few hours before. When I got to the house, he was seizing with his eyes rolled back. The EMT made a comment I’ll never forget. ‘I’ve never seen anything like this. I have no idea what is going on.’”

‘MA’AM!!! Ma’am stop! Please stop! You forgot your baby in the car!’ I didn’t even realize she was talking me.’: Mom caught off guard when stranger ‘causes a scene’ in grocery store parking lot

“She thought I left my baby in the car. This woman was YELLING. She caused a scene, people turned to look at the commotion. To be completely honest, I didn’t even realize she was talking to me. As I was pushing the cart into the cart return, I turned to look at her. Oh. She was talking to ME. She was waving her hands and started running towards me! I felt horrified.”

‘Are you willing to foster a teen?’ I was 19, single, male. I set up the interview, thinking I wouldn’t be taken seriously.’: Man who grew up in foster care adopts 3 children, ‘I want them to grow up loved’

“At 19, I moved into my own place and worked like a dog. I felt unfulfilled, but wasn’t sure what I was missing. One day, I picked up an employment newsletter. There it was. ‘Become a Foster Parent Today. Must be 18.’ A month later, I got a call asking to take in a 7-year-old boy. Imagine my surprise to see a white child waiting for me at the supermarket! I was internally panicking. I’d never interacted with a white child before and had no clue how to care for one!”

‘When they flinch from the stapler dropping, it’s because they weren’t sure if you’re throwing it at them.’: Foster mom pens powerful note to teacher warning of her children’s trauma

“They come from a really, really hard place. The kind of abuse you think can’t be real. They duck for cover. You’ve heard of fight or flight? There is also freeze. One of my kids responds with ‘freeze.’ Her eyes grow wide and her voice silences. It’s how she’s trained herself to survive. My kids need to know you are safe.”

‘Here we go again!’ My son’s principal called me. He’d been written up.’: Adoptive mom ‘cried and cried’ after learning her ‘trauma-ravaged’ son was rewarded for being ‘courageous’

“‘Ms. Pollard, we’re having another bad day. Can you come?’ My boy is silent. Something seems different. I pull him in close, ask what’s going on. It’s mid-September and he’s asking if he can have a race car for Christmas. But it’s not about the gift to him. It’s about his need to feel safe. If I can reassure him he’ll get that race car for Christmas, he knows he’s safe until then. No one will come pick him up. At least for 3 more months.”

‘To my child who gets dragged from place to place because of your siblings, I have guilt. We go to THEIR play spaces, sports, summer camp pickups. And you are constantly waiting.’: Mom apologizes to her ‘drag-along child’

“You wait as I get your siblings ready for the day. You wait as I break up their fights. You wait as I load them into the car, in tears of frustration because you need me, but I need to get them somewhere by a certain time. I don’t get enough chances to take all of you in, to enjoy your coos and smiles. You don’t have all of me.”

‘My father sent me out for cigarettes. With no shoes and one shirt, I decided to run away. I needed to find a place he’d never find me.’ Man rescued from abusive family, returns favor by fostering children in need

“After a year of living on the street, strangers approached me and said, ‘We want to take you to school.’ Coming from an abusive household, I had never really learned to trust. I said yes, not really sure what I was agreeing to. I had no home, hope, future, and they gave me all of that and more. I knew I wanted to do the same for other kids.”

‘Momma, can you please call the judge? He’s moving too slow. Does he know I need you to be my momma? I’ll tell him. I need to be adopted. I can’t wait anymore.’ My boys waited 3 long years.’

“We started making visits with his siblings. This one forever changed my life. I felt a little tug on my shirt. He said, ‘Are you Jeremy’s mom?’ I said, ‘Yeah buddy, I am.’ And then his crushing response was, ‘Will you be my mom too?’ I cried. I hugged him. I was speechless.”

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