You are here


Journey of a Child Through Foster Care: Part I

By: Tzivy Ross  

Dear Reader: The following is not the story of just one child in its details and circumstance, for these particulars do not represent the situation of any one child. However, the thoughts and feelings of the child contained in this story do represent the thoughts and feelings of many different children that have passed through OHEL’s doors in the Milton Shulman Foster Care Program. Please join me on their painful, yet ultimately healing journey through foster care. 

It happened again last night. Mommy was so tired she couldn’t get up to make supper. I tried to find some food in the house but there wasn’t that much to eat. At school, I was so hungry I stuffed myself at breakfast. My Morah [teacher] looked worried and said I was eating like I hadn’t seen food in days. It was true, but I convinced her it wasn’t. 

My teacher’s been worried before. Like the time I came to school wearing dirty clothes and without a jacket. Mommy was too sick to help me in the morning so I just took whatever I could find. I’m sorry I got you in trouble, Mommy, but I didn’t know what else to do. 

It wasn’t always like this. I know it’s hard on you, Mommy. We don’t have a lot of money and you don’t have that many people helping you since Daddy left. But you never used to be so sad all the time, like you are now. You never used to hurt me before, like you do now. 

I hear you crying sometimes at night, and I know you don’t mean to hit me. It’s just that I make you so mad sometimes that you just can’t help it. I’m sorry, Mommy, for being so bad. I’ll try to be good. Really, I will 

But I came home from school today and made you mad again. I didn’t mean to do it, Mommy. It was an accident. I know you spent a lot of money on it especially for me, money that you don’t have. And now I have ruined it. Please don’t hit me, Mommy. 

But you are too upset to listen. You take me by the shoulders and shake me. I don’t think you mean to but you bang my head against the wall. You have never done that before. You look at me in horror and run off. 

I go to my bed and cry. My head is aching something awful. You come into my room and start to cry, too. You tell me how much you love me, that I am the most precious thing in the world to you. You tell me that you are sorry that you lost control like that. That you will never do it again. You take me in your arms and hug me so tight that my tears mix together with yours. I snuggle in close to you and feel your love so strongly that it warms me until I don’t even feel my head hurt anymore. I wish it could always be like this between us, Mommy. 

But you did it again, Mommy. And another time, too. It’s too hard for me, Mommy. I am scared all the time. So I told them in school. They saw the marks and I told them the truth. They made a lot of different calls and spoke to a Rabbi, too. They said they would help us. 

Some people from the city came to the house. They saw my bruises and asked what happened. You told them the truth and they said they had to take me away for now. You were crying, Mommy, as if your heart was breaking. You begged them to let me stay. I’m sorry, Mommy. I wish I could take it back. I want to stay with you! 

The people from the city brought me to a doctor and he checked me over. His hands were cold. They took pictures of my bruises. They asked me lots of questions. Im tired and hungry, and I miss my mommy. I don’t want to talk anymore. Why can’t they leave me alone? 

They took me to another office. I had to wait on a bench for a really long time. They tried to give me a snack, but it wasn’t kosher. I waited for them while they made a lot of phone calls. 

Then they finally came out. They said they were going to take me to live with a family, from a place called OHEL. They said that these people were going to help me. I never heard of this place before, OHEL, and I am scared. Will they be able to take care of me? I don’t even have my clothes and my books with me. Will I be able to go to the same school? Will I be able to see my mommy? 

The people from the city take me in their car for the third time that night. As we drive away I can’t help but remember Mommy’s face right before they took me. She didn’t say a word to me, but her eyes spoke instead. They said, “how could you betray me?”” 

Mommy, I didn’t mean it. It was all a mistake. I want to take it back! I want to be with you! 

But even as I say this, I can’t help but think: Mommy, didn’t you betray me too? 

Latest News

NEWS

  • 04/24/17: OHEL Bais Ezra’s Hosts Autism Family Day in NY C...
  • 04/04/17: OHEL's Annual Legislative Breakfast Draws Public a...
  • 04/03/2017: As OHEL Expands, Alan Secter Appointed New Chief...
  • 03/30/17: The Eternal Bonds of Grief - Losing a Child with D...
  • 03/15/17: This Purim, OHEL Brought Happiness & Warmth to Hun...
  • 02/28/17: OHEL to Open New Residence for Individuals with De...
  • 02/23/17: OHEL is the Only Agency Approved to Provide New Re...
  • 01/24/17: Half the Marathon, Twice the Fun!...
  • 01/11/17: A Day With OHEL to Remember the Love and Sacrifice...
  • 01/09/17: Life; Fully Engaged...
  • 12/29/16: OHEL Celebrates Chanukah with the Amazing Shloime ...
  • 12/6/16: OHEL Breaks New Ground in Confronting Stigma 1,100...
  • 11/6/16: Team OHEL Keeps on Running at TCS NYC Marathon!...
  • 09/28/16: OHEL’s 47th Annual Gala - If OHEL’s Walls Coul...
  • 9/23/2016: OHEL to Temporarily Move Headquarters to Downto...
  • 09/20/16: The Mel and Phyllis Zachter OHEL Institute for Tra...
  • 09/07/16: At Start of New School Year, OHEL’s Dr. Norman B...
  • 08/24/16: OHEL’s Retreat to Bushkill Inn Provides Inspirat...
  • 08/15/16: OHEL Bais Ezra’s East 26th Street Residence Cele...
  • 07/28/16: Camp Kaylie - Reflections of a Past Camper and Fut...
  • 08/1/2016: OHEL Bais Ezra’s Hillcrest Residence Celebrate ...
  • 07/06/2016: Chinuch Comes Alive at Camp Kaylie...
  • 6/20/16: A Tee-rific Day Golfing with OHEL...
  • 06/22/16: Yoni Benedek, Touro Social Work Graduate, Wins OHE...
  • 05/15/16: OHEL’s Second Annual OXC Event at Camp Kaylie â€...
  • 06/7/16: Mariano Rivera Pitches in for OHEL ...
  • 6/6/16: OHEL Launching Local Support Groups for Divorced Mot...
  • 6/2/16: Anxiety and Relationships...
  • 6/1/16: OHEL to Significantly Expand Services to Children an...
  • 5/26/16: New Challenges and Changes Facing Millennial Genera...
  • 5/10/16: Exclusive Screening of OHEL’s Rising from Divorc...
  • 4/26/16: OHEL And Kool Kids Bounced Around On Chol Hamoed!...
  • 5/9/16: OHEL’s New Listen for a Change Podcast Series Yiel...
  • 4/15/16: OHEL's Annual Legislative Breakfast Draws Public an...
  • 4/10/16: Canarsie Meets Boro Park For Makeovers and Mingling...
  • 4/13/16: Art Exhibit by Moshe Pollak, OHEL Mental Health Res...
  • 4/3/2016: Children and Families Enjoy OHEL Bais Ezra’s Fam...
  • 7/17/2016 Emotional Intelligence...
  • 1/21/2016 OHEL Hosts First Lady Chirlane McCray...
  • 12/07/15 - OHEL Lights up the Lives of its Children and Fami...
  • 11/11/15 Co-President of OHEL Moishe Hellman is Guest of Hon...
  • 11/10/15Team OHEL Honorees, The Levi Family Personifies Fa...
  • 11/05/15 - Gloria and Harvey Kaylie, Founders of Camp Kaylie...
  • 12/30/15 -NJ Native Bruce Prince to Be Honored at OHEL’s 4...
  • 10/29/15 Rabbi Yaakov and Leah Lehrfield Of Staten Island to...
  • 10/23/15 OHEL Runs Challah Bake in Honor of Shabbos Project...
  • 10/16/15 Message From Rabbi Shalom Rosner On the Situation i...
  • 10/07/15 - Dear Sarah: My daughter still has not found her b...
  • 9/3/15 - OHEL’s Retreat to Bushkill Inn Provides Inspirati...
  • 8/19/15 Chesed Begins at Home Meira (Reinstein) Mintz...
  • 8/10/15 Gloria and Harvey Kaylie Visit Camp Kaylie for Kayli...
  • 8-10-2015 Beyond Comprehension Dr. Norman N. Blumenthal...
  • 07/15/2015 - Double Your Impact...
  • 5/13/15 - Sibshops Family Event...
  • 05/13/15 - Team OHEL Crosses the Finish Line!...
  • 04/28/15 - OHEL & Jewish Family Service of Clifton-Passaic B...
  • 04/28/15 - OHEL Launches New and FREE Parenting Workshops...
  • 4/14/15 - Rav Moshe Lieff and Rabbi Eli Mansour Join OHEL fo...
  • 03/31/15 - NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray Passionately Calls...
  • 03/19/15 - OHEL’s Sibshops Program Hosts Another Successfu...
  • 03/03/15 - OHEL and Task Force Co-Sponsor Important Communit...
  • 02/27/15 - OHEL’S Expansive School Based Services Garner P...
  • 2/26/15 - OHEL Bais Ezra Individuals Celebrate Elisheva’s ...
  • 02/23/15 - DRS Students & OHEL Day Hab Individuals Pack Mish...
  • 02/15/2015 - OHEL Receives Top Scores in Government Regulato...
  • 01/19/15 - OHEL & Jewish Family Service of Clifton-Passaic B...
  • 01/20/15 - Local NJ organizations J-ADD, OHEL, Kaplan JCC on...
  • 01/13/15 - OHEL Lights up the Lives of its Children and Fami...
  • 01/12/15 - Sibshops Ice Skating Trip Enjoyed by All!...
  • 12/15/14 - OHEL New Jersey Hosts Teaneck Training for The Ye...
  • 12/09/14 - OHEL’s Sibshops Training Day...
  • 12/02/14 - Over 1,000 Friends Inspired at OHEL’s 45th Annu...
  • 11/25/14 - OHEL Bais Ezra East 16th St Residence Celebrates ...
  • 11/13/14 - OHEL Hosts Foster Care Information Session Open H...
  • 11/10/14 - OHEL and BoroPark Lumber Recognized for Employmen...
  • 10/28/14 - Join OHEL on Sunday, November 23 as we “Look Ba...
  • 10/23/14 - OHEL Honors our “Angel of Mery” – Miriam Lu...
  • 10/06/14 - Looking Back and Giving Back - Moving Forward Tog...
  • 09/18/14 - OHEL Meets Diverse & Increasing Needs of Northern...
  • 09/03/14 - OHEL’s Retreat to Bushkill Inn Provides Inspira...
  • 9/02/14 - OHEL Launches New School Essay Competition...
  • 08/21/14 - OHEL a Guest at Hamptons Synagogue...
  • 08/21/14 - Robotics “Classes” Sponsored by the Gruss Lif...
  • 08/07/14 - OHEL “Future Leaders” Golf Event...
  • 07/28/14 - Mezuzahs Complete OHEL’s New Kadimah Building...
  • 07/02/14 - An Opportunity to Double Your Impact and Be Twice...
  • 06/27/14 - OHEL Bais Ezra Makes it Easier to “Access” Se...
  • 06/27/14 - OHEL Bais Ezra Hosts 2nd Annual Appreciation BBQ...
  • 06/27/14 - OHEL Bais Ezra Sibshops- Another Terrific Year Co...
  • 06/19/14 - OHEL Omni Golf Classic 2014...
  • 06/10/14 - OHEL Support Groups for Mothers of Children With ...
  • 05/28/14 - OHEL Takes Fund Raising to New Heights!...
  • 05/22/14 - OHEL Bais Ezra Siblings Celebrate Side by Side...
  • 05/16/14 - Team OHEL Crosses the Finish Line!...
  • 05/08/14 - Parents and Kids All Have Fun at OHEL Bais Ezraâ€...
  • 05/05/14 - OHEL Partners With Others to Provide Stimulating ...
  • 04/09/14 - OHEL Bais Ezra Siblings Run Side by Side...
  • 04/01/14 - OHEL Takes Fund Raising to New Heights...
  • 03/26/14 - Racing to His Work!...
  • 03/19/14 - While Project Hope at OHEL Ends, Lessons of Resil...
  • 03/18/14 - OHEL's FREE Camp Safety Program and Camp Chessed ...
  • 03/12/14 - OHEL Invited as Guest Speaker to Eis Laasois Pres...
  • 03/12/14 - OHEL’s Expanded Kadimah Program Enables Individ...
  • 02/24/14 - OHEL’s “Devoted Dads” Workshop Draws Capaci...
  • 02/20/14 - Purchasing OHEL’s Mishloach Manot Helps Provide...
  • 02/18/14 - OHEL’s Diverse Support Groups Draw Everyday Peo...
  • 01/31/14 - OHEL Launches “Devoted Dads” Support Group...
  • 01/30/14 - OHEL Runs Another Successful Season of Winter Cam...
  • 01/24/14 - Rave Reviews from Attendees of OHEL’s First Sib...
  • 01/14/14 - New OHEL Event for Adult Siblings of Individuals ...
  • 01/08/14 - OHEL Quietly Protects Children of Sexual Abuse Wh...
  • 12/19/13 - OHEL to Host Bi-Weekly Family Caregiver Support G...
  • 12/13/13 - A Different Kind of Simcha at Ateres Chaya...
  • 12/10/13 - OHEL’S Foster Care Chanukah Party Brings Warmth...
  • 12/02/13 - Record Number of Friends and Supporters Attend OH...
  • 11/20/13 - OHEL Conference Provides Tools to Address Challen...
  • 11/06/13 - OHEL’s Project Hope Still Rebuilding Lives One ...
  • 11/04/13 - OHEL Marriage Webinar Draws Hundreds...
  • 10/28/13 - New Camp Kaylie Masmidim Program for Summer 2014...
  • 10/22/13 - OHEL’s Sibshops Program Cooks up a Storm at Pom...
  • 10/22/13 - Camp Kaylie Welcomes Arielle Sheinbein as Latest ...
  • 10/15/13 - OHEL Mental Health Residents Host Succos Party...
  • 09/30/2013 - OHEL and Etta Hold First Ever National Shabbato...
  • 08/30/13 - OHEL’s Retreat to Bushkill Inn Provides Inspira...
  • 08/29/13 - Rabbi Eli Brazil Appointed New Director of Camp K...
  • 08/22/13 - OHEL’s Next Generation. 4 year old campers from...
  • 08/14/13 - OHEL’s Simcha Feuerman’s New Book, “Marriag...
  • 08/08/13 - New “OHEL Access” Centralizes Inquiry to All ...
  • 08/05/13 - OHEL and Gourmet Glatt Present Healthy and Mind...
  • 07/30/13 - Team OHEL Appreciation BBQ...
  • 07/29/13 - OHEL Bais Ezra Launches “Sibling Day” Program...
  • 07/26/13 - OHEL/Avnet Bowl-a-thon a Perfect Strike!...
  • 07/23/13 - Rabbi Soloveitchik Brightens up OHEL During his M...
  • 07/22/13 - Individuals Managing Their Mental Illness Enjoy O...
  • 07/19/13 - OHEL Welcomes Rabbi Jeremy Donath to its Bergen C...
  • 07/17/13 - OHEL's Expanded Kadimah Clubhouse Offers Socializ...
  • 07/15/13 - Softball and Sun up at OHEL’s Camp Kaylie! Kayl...
  • 07/11/2013 - OHEL Opens New Supported Living Apartments with...
  • 07/03/2013 - OHEL Bais Ezra’s East Broadway Residence Ligh...
  • 07/03/2013 - OHEL Bais Ezra Ave M Residence Hosts Community ...
  • 06/20/2013 - OHEL Institute Autism Conference on Social Skil...
  • 06/20/2013 - OHEL Caregiving Evening- Addresses Needs of the...
  • 06/20/2013 - SKA and OHEL Team up to Help Provide for Foster...
  • 06/18/2013 - OHEL Scholar in Residence, Charlie Harary, Wows...
  • 06/17/2013 - OHEL Bais Ezra Woodmere Resident Celebrates Her...
  • 6/12/2013 - OHEL Bais Ezra Residents Welcomed in Community...
  • 6/11/2013 - OHEL Discusses Trauma on Nachum Segal Radio Show...
  • 6/5/13 -Touro and OHEL: Delivering Services in an In Increas...
  • 5/21/13 - Oklahoma Tragedy, OHEL Provides Pointers to Parent...
  • 4/4/13 OHEL Bais Ezra’s Annual Chol Haomoed Adventure...
  • 3/14/13 Socialize and Find Your Bashert...
  • 3/6/13 OHEL’S New Five Towns Office...
  • 2/18/13 OHEL Annual Gala 2013...
  • 2/6/13 OHEL Bais Ezra’s Sibshops Program Empowers Siblings...
  • 11/19/2012 - New Project Hope Crisis Counseling Program...
  • 11/14/2012 - OHEL Provides Comfort to Evacuated Residents...
  • 11/13/2012 - Free Carnival...
  • 11/12/2012 - Hurricane Sandy...
  • 11/11/2012 - Rosh Hashana ...
  • 10/31/2012 - Robert Katz as the New Chief Development Office...
  • 10/31/2012 - Etta Israel Center of L.A. Merges with OHEL...
  • 09/14/2012 - Bais Ezra Hosts Community-Wide BBQ...
  • 08/20/2012 - Camp Kaylie Inaugurates the Kleinman Bais Medra...
  • 08/03/2012 - Ruach K’tonton in West Hempstead...
  • 08/02/2012 - OHEL Congratulates Our Own Misayim HaShas...
  • 07/24/2012 - NBA Greats Thrill Campers...
  • 06/19/2012 - Golf Classic...
  • 05/26/2012 - Getting Older...
  • 05/21/2012 - Day of Remembrance...
  • 03/07/2012 - Challenges of Anger Disorders...
  • 03/06/2012 - Bais Ezra 30th Anniversary...
  • 02/14/2012 - Ohel Draws Capacity Crowd...
  • 01/25/2012 - Mel Zachter Named OHEL Co-president...
  • 01/16/2012 - Gary Schaer To Receive the “Legislator of the...
  • 01/02/2012 - Cherish the Children...
  • 10/05/2011 - OHEL Bais Ezra’s Sibshops Program Empowers Si...
  • 08/30/2011 - Kaylie Day: A Dream Fulfilled...
  • 06/28/2011 - Pomegranate’s Chef Boris Grills Up a Great T...
  • 06/24/2011 - OHEL Golf Classic...
  • 05/25/2011 - OHEL Institute for Training Workshop Addressing...
  • 04/13/2011 - OHEL Institute for Training Addresses Eating Di...
  • 03/17/2011 - Over 400 Celebrates Purim with Matisyahu...
  • 03/11/2011 - New OHEL Video Colorizes the World ...
  • 03/11/2011 - OHEL Appoints New Director of Development...
  • 03/02/2011 - Reggae Star Matisyahu To Perform ...
  • 12/20/2010 - OHEL Regional Family Center of Northern NJ Tra...
  • 12/16/2010 - OHEL Provides Training on Addictions ...
  • 12/16/2010 - OHEL Residents and Neighbors Gather for a BBQ ...
  • 12/07/2010 - OHEL Insitute Provides Training On Short-Term T...
  • 11/24/2010 - OHEL Sixth Annual Benefit Concert ...
  • 11/21/2010 - OHEL Benefit Concert November 21st...
  • 11/11/2010 - Team OHEL Wins For OHEL Bais Ezra Kids...
  • 11/10/2010 - OHEL Working Breakfast Addresses Student-Issues...
  • 11/09/2010 - Gaining Couple Therapy Expertise at OHEL...
  • 07/19/2010 - Large Turnout at First Camp Kaylie Open House...
  • 07/13/2010 - “Building Resiliency in Our Children”...
  • 06/28/2010 - OHEL Golf Classic Benefits Children!...
  • 06/08/2010 - Training for Parents of Children with ADHD...
  • 04/28/2010 - Long Islanders Ride for OHEL Residents of the 5...
  • 04/07/2010 - “Reaching Out to Special Friends” Competit...
  • 03/11/2010 - Shloime Dachs Annual Siyum and BBQ...
  • 03/01/2010 - OHEL Draws Capacity Crowd To Celebrate 40 Years...
  • 02/12/2010 - Malky Giniger Presents a Star-Studded New Show...
  • 02/05/2010 - Meeting the Challenge of Postpartum Depression...
  • 01/21/2010 - OHEL 40th Anniversary Annual Dinner...
  • 01/10/2010 - Professionals Prepare to Address Teen Behaviors...
  • 01/08/2010 - Record Number of OHEL Bais Ezra Day Trips ...
  • 01/03/2010 - OHEL Celebrates Purim with Le Cirque Du Purime...

ARTICLES

  • Overnight Respite...
  • Employment: The Power of a Paycheck...
  • After the Brooklyn fire tragedy in which seven children died...
  • Rav Elya Brudny and Others Address Over 200 at Conference to...
  • Does Alan Turing have Aspergers Syndrome?...
  • Foster Parenting: How will it affect my children?...
  • “Hard to Place,” Not Hard to Love...
  • The Ties That Bind: Keeping Siblings Together in Foster Car...
  • Confronting Abuse in the Frum World ...
  • Understanding the Educational and Behavioral Needs of Childr...
  • When Divorce Can Save a Marriage...
  • Jewish Kids are in Foster Care, Too...
  • A Fulfilling Life ...
  • Richard Bernstein to Become First Blind State Supreme Court ...
  • Ask the Expert: Eligibility Specialist...
  • Meachorei Hapargod: Lessons for Elul, Courtesy of Summer Ca...
  • Early Parental Loss...
  • Are Gedolim Stories Good Chinuch?...
  • Is Recovery From Mental Illness Possible?...
  • Helping Your Child Accept a New Baby...
  • Self-Esteem or Self-Validation?...
  • “Knock, Knock” “Who's There?” OPWDD: Welcoming the F...
  • Developmentally Disabled Employees Shine In The Workplace...
  • “I Take Care” — Mrs. Miriam Lubling, a”h...
  • The Hallmark of Klal Yisrael: A Caring Heart… Foster care ...
  • Redefining strength...
  • Sustaining the Excitement of the First Year of Marriage...
  • No Complaints...
  • No Shidduch Left Behind...
  • Statewide Project Continues Offering Services to Sandy Victi...
  • 75th Anniversary of the Horrors of Kristallnacht...
  • Etta at OHEL Dedicates Fourth Group Home...
  • Staten Island Jewish victims of Hurricane Sandy Still in Nee...
  • A Slice of Home: Through the eyes of a foster child...
  • Ask Sarah: Newly Married & Worried About Divorce...
  • As New Year Approaches, N.Y. Community Devastated by Hurrica...
  • Oniomania: A Look into the Minds of Compulsive Shoppers...
  • Teens and Saturday Nights: A Parenting Approach...
  • The Loss of a Dream...
  • Help! My Adolescent is Out of Control!...
  • Protecting Our Children: Does a Bakery Have a Soul?...
  • Who Am I? Standing at the precipice of death longing for sta...
  • Nobody Quite Knew What to do With Yaakov...
  • Understanding the Coordination between Early Intervention an...
  • Understanding your "peckel", your packet of problems...
  • Life for Frum Women in domestic violence shelters...
  • United We Stand: The Impact of Disabilities on Marriage...
  • Unique Needs of Children in Foster Care...
  • The Success Story that Finally Happened...
  • It’s a painful process to watch. We joke about it all the ...

donate online