I totally understand the term “muddle through” because that was exactly what I was doing. So ill equipped to handle the needs of this little girl was I that sometimes I wondered what on earth I had been thinking. And then other days, I looked at her and felt so much pride in the way she never gave up, always pushing ahead to get to the place she wanted to be.
A Child With No Name
Can you imagine being alone at the age of eleven with no knowledge of your own last name?
Training For Life As A Foster Parent
In 1999, with our children all grown and my husband away with his job, I decided to become a Foster Mother with the Children’s Home Society of Florida.
It involved nine weeks of classes, home studies, and specific preparation for the rooms the children would call their own while living in our home.
Though an exciting time, it is also a time to totally reflect on just how determined you are to take these children, love them and do your very best to make their lives better. The endeavor is far more than simply putting a roof over their heads and food in their mouths.
When they come to you so broken and suffering from their personal loss, it is also your responsibility to do everything in your power to help them over the stumbling blocks these things cause for them. It brings with it behavior issues, tears, fear, uncertainty, lack of trust in you, educational needs, and just plain hard work. They need your love and understanding and they deserve everything any other child in less difficult circumstances deserves and it is your task to see that they get it.
If you don’t have these convictions, do not become a foster parent. You are going to be exhausted and drained because you will feel their anguish and you will suffer for them with your need to help.
When our fourth foster child came into our lives, she was not only suffering from the loss of her biological family but also the loss of her adopted family. Yes, after five years, the adoption had failed and they had deserted this little eleven year old girl.
Her story is not the typical story you hear of foster children and, as you read volume one (website below), you will definitely be caught up in the world she lived in. The life she struggled with on a daily basis from the youngest age would surely topple most adults. And, yet, she had to find ways to get through them to literally survive.
She was tiny, emotionally fragile, and absolutely beautiful. There was so much pain and anger that she rejected even the slightest touch of affection and fought everything I tried to do for her.
The family who had adopted her had destroyed her paperwork and there was no record of her birth surname. After asking her guidance counselor at school to send to New York for her elementary school transcripts, we discovered two different names were listed. No one seemed to have record of the child's last name at birth.
This beautiful little girl, without a home, a family, or even her own last name, stood before me, her future in my hand.
There were many nights when I could not sleep because my mind was racing in its quest to come up with ways to reach her. Other nights when I felt so overwhelmed that there were tears of release running down my face into the wee hours of the morning.
That was twelve years ago and she is now a beautiful, confident twenty-four year old whom we adopted when she was thirteen years old, at her request.
We had raised four of our own by this time and I was fifty-one years old. There were many doubts in my mind as to my ability to handle such a feat, doubts as to whether or not I would be able to help her, and doubts as to my own motives in taking her as my own.
I had such a strong urge to protect this child that even I did not understand. I wondered sometimes if I was taking her to supply my own need to prove to myself that I could help her.
And, yet, my love for her was so strong! I just knew we had to be there for her, to show her she could love again, to show her she was worthy of being loved, and to protect her from the world she lived in all alone.
At this point, the days just ran together and I never really thought about what I was doing…I just did what I had to as the situations arose.
I totally understand the term “muddle through” because that was exactly what I was doing. So ill equipped to handle the needs of this little girl was I that sometimes I wondered what on earth I had been thinking. And then other days, I looked at her and
felt so much pride in the way she never gave up, always pushing ahead to get to the place she wanted to be.
During these days, we talked at length about her life both with her biological mother and with her adoptive family. There were many things she didn’t understand and I tried so hard to help her realize why some of the things had happened, constantly reassuring her that none of it was any fault of hers.
At one point, I promised her that once she was grown, we would work together to find the parents and siblings she vaguely remembered. I didn’t know how much luck we would have but I promised to do my very best for her.
"Child Birth is an act of nature; Adoption is an act of God." Author Unknown
The years were both rewarding and difficult but, together, we made it through High School, if not without a few train wrecks, with renewed strength whenever the train derailed for a time.
We have learned to love each other as Mother and Daughter and have shared many things with one another over the past twelve years.
And, yes, we have found both her biological mother and family and her biological father and family, the latter, just recently.
She has shared this experience with me every step of the way and I feel very privileged to have been a part of the story.
If you would enjoy being entertained, embraced in
the love we have shared, and yes, brought to tears
more than once, follow our websites BELOW to Audrey’s Story.
We have written the words together and wish to share the story for those who may need encouragement.
The Secret Things
by Eugenia S. Hunt
If this little girl can stand alone as a strong and productive adult after what the world has dealt her, we can surely tackle whatever lies ahead with ease. Life is a series of learning experiences and I continue to find life to be both a challenge and a joy which grows with each passing year.
God loves us whether we walk the path He chooses or choose to follow our own. He is there to pick us up after failure and is patient with us until we find our way back to Him each time we stumble.
I refused to accept my child's defeat as God refuses to accept mine and the rewards have been amazing for both of us!
I learn more and more about myself with each passing day!
Share in Audrey’s pain, but also share in her joy and her growth as an individual.
I promise you will be entertained, amazed, emotional, and fall in love with this beautiful little girl.
When you are done, you will go away with a true knowledge of the strength of the human spirit.
Audrey, now 25, lives in New York...photo taken at a Mets Game. She has come full circle and is happy!
Child Of My Heart, Audrey's Story (Volume One)
Audrey’s early days from birth until the age of twelve.
Child Of My Heart, Audrey's Story (Volume Two)
The emotional turmoil of her teen years and the behavior spurned from years of pain and anger.
Child Of My Heart, Audrey's Story (Volume Three)
We will carry you through the joy of her reunion with her biological mother and siblings, giving you first hand the path we took to find them.
Child Of My Heart, Audrey's Story (Volume Five)
Here, we will discover the final piece of the puzzle as we search and locate Audreys biological father and the Polidoro family.
Foster Teen Parenting
Does this story interest you personally? Would the world of foster care lead you down a path that you feel would be rewarding in your own life? Well, let's get started! Join me as I explain some of the things needed to begin your journey!