Foster Home Yo-yoMy parents and older sister died in an auto accident when I was ten years old. My parents had no real family they spoke of (when I finally looked them up, I can see why they never stayed in contact), so I was shuffled from different foster care homes. One family was interested in adopting me; once they found out that when my parents estate was liquidated and was worth about $100,000 (a chunk of change in 1971). Once they found out that the money was all tied up in a trust and I (nor them) could not get a dime (save a $25.00 a month allowance) until I turned 18 or graduated from High School, their heels were rather cooled.. I went to another home far away from my 'roots' which, as I look back in retrospect, was not a bad place. The problem was, I really liked it in that county. Finally, the Foster agency tried to get the family keeping me (during 8th and 9th Grade) was pushed to adopt. Once again, they decided NOT to adopt.
Once again, I was shipped to a different home, my ninth and final in between my Freshman and Sophomore year of high school. This home was close to where I had been living for the last two years. My foster parents were nice people and they had an older, large home on a twenty acre spread. I was living in an estate area (although these were not like the ones on television) they were just older homes, with barns, livestock corrals. I had it all. My parents had a nice five bedroom house. My father was a pastor of a local church and his wife was the pianist and choir director. My real parents were never religious so this was a new experience. Praying before eating. Going to church on Sunday. I lived in the main house, I had all upstairs to myself. When my foster parents children came to visit, I vacated my room and went to a (for lack of a better term) ranch hand's residence, which was akin to an in-law apartment. I had a bed, couch and a full bathroom in a section of the barn. These people had chickens (which smelled) a couple of pigs. I did not mind doing chores. I even had some neighbors that needed help around their 'farms' so I was able to pick up extra money. One of those specific jobs was another adventure which I will write about later.
I look back and I hated the time from my parents death, until I met "Pastor Dave" and his wife. They were kind. I did take a back seat on occasions when their children/grandchildren arrived to visit, but this was never as their request, it was always something I did. I was treated real bad by some of the foster care homes. I tried to fit in, I tried to make friends. As soon as I would get close to someone, off to another home I went. I thought the one family that wanted to adopt me were nice people. I sent a few letters to them when I was placed into different homes. Those people never responded. I even went to their house, years later, they slammed the door in my face. All they wanted was the money, and once they could not get it, well, it was the highway.
When I turned 18 (although I had not graduated from high school), I offered to give the trust fund, in total, to Dave and Marla (the pastor and his wife). They refused, they even refused the money for their church.
I had some nice neighbors. One of them was a set of twins (boy and girl) that I used to ride to school with on the bus daily. They lived literally, next door. Their mother was the girls gym coach at my high school. But these adventures are another story.