My brother and I got placed into the foster system when my father couldn’t cope with the loss of my mother, but I later discovered why he never came back for me.
My mother died when I was around ten years old, and my brother, Ari, was just six. It was a horrible time for my family, and my father didn’t deal with the stress very well. He was gone most of the time and only returned home for a few hours.
However, he was never here, even at home. So, I became my brother’s main caretaker and did my best to keep our house in shape. But it was one of the hardest things in the world. Eventually, we ran out of food because our father wouldn’t provide anything.
My dad didn't deal with our mother's loss well. | Source: Shutterstock
I had to ask our neighbors for food, and they started getting concerned. When my father didn’t get better, they called social services. “I don’t want to go. But what about my dad?” I cried to the social worker.
“It’s ok, sweetie. Your dad needs some help, and you guys need it too,” the lady said calmly.
My brother was also crying in a corner, refusing to go with her. “About my brother and me, will we stay together?” I asked her.
The social worker tried to be reassuring. | Source: Pexels
“I can’t promise anything, but I’ll do my best so that you both end up together. But honey, you guys can’t stay here. You have to come with me,” the social worker explained. I was old enough to understand what was happening.
So, I calmed my brother as best I could and we got into her car. I just hoped my dad got better soon, and we could return home soon. Unfortunately, the social worker couldn’t keep her promise, and we were both sent to different foster homes.
I ran away several times from my placement to find my little brother, but I couldn’t and was promptly brought back to my foster home. “Lara, you can’t keep running away,” my foster mom, Lisa, said.
My foster mom, Lisa, said that my brother was in a great home. | Source: Pexels
“But my brother must be so scared and alone,” I told her. “I need to find him.”
“I actually called your social worker today, and he was placed in a great home. They have another boy his age, apparently, and they have been supporting each other,” Lisa continued. “My husband and I are better with older children. That’s why we couldn’t take him too. Can you understand us?”
“I just miss him and my family,” I cried.
“I know. Believe me, I know how you feel. I was also in the foster system until a wonderful family adopted me,” Lisa started. “Now, I hope that your father gets better, but if not, we’re here. This is your home if you want it to be.”
My brother showed up at my job unexpectedly. | Source: Pexels
Lisa was incredible, and her husband, Luke, was a sweet man as well. They were older than my dad and kindhearted so I eventually felt at home with them. I missed Ari terribly, but my social worker assured me that he was fine in his new home.
I asked for his contact information, but they refused to give it to me. I could only hope to meet him again in the future when we were both adults. When I turned 18, I tried to contact him again, but his social worker said they couldn’t give out that information.
A few years went by, and Ari showed up at the hotel where I worked as a receptionist. “Ari! I can’t believe it’s you!” I exclaimed, happy that I was finally seeing my brother again.
We chatted, but Ari had something serious to tell me. | Source: Pexels
“Lara, I did my best to find you but couldn’t until now. I finally discovered where you worked and decided to stop by,” Ari said.
“Let’s grab something to eat and catch up,” I told him. We sat down at a nearby restaurant, and I started talking about my life.
My foster parents had become my family, and I hoped that Ari could meet them soon. But my brother’s expression turned weird when I asked about his foster family. “Listen, Lara. There’s something I have to tell you,” he started.
I listened to what he had to say. | Source: Pexels
“What’s going on? Everyone assured me that you were placed with good people. Did they lie?” I asked, worried that my brother might have had one of those crazy foster experiences you see on television.
“They didn’t exactly lie. At first, I was with a couple. They had a son named Eddy, and it was pretty nice,” Ari replied.
“Well, I was only with them for a while. I don’t think it was more than a couple of months, although I don’t remember it well,” Ari continued. “Dad came to find me. He had recovered and wanted us back.”
Dad had come back for Ari. | Source: Pexels
“What?” I asked, shocked.
“Yeah, and I went back to live with him almost immediately. When I asked about you, he said that you wanted to stay with your foster family. That so hurt me, but Dad said you had a new mom. I couldn’t blame you,” my brother explained.
“That’s not true!” I insisted.
“I know that now, Lara. I just wanted to explain so that you know why I haven’t tried to contact you sooner. Our dad is now sick, and he told me the truth,” Ari clarified.
Dad saw me gardening with my foster mom. | Source: Pexels
“What is the truth? I don’t get it at all,” I pleaded.
“Dad said that he went to get you from your foster parents, but he couldn’t get out of the car when he saw you were gardening with your new mom,” he added.
“He thought I would rather stay with her?” I asked, still confused.
I looked too much like my mother, and Dad still missed her. | Source: Pexels
“That would’ve been a great reason, but no. He said that you looked too much like our mother, and he couldn’t deal with it. He said looking at you was too painful and decided only to take me back,” Ari finished and starting crying.
I couldn’t believe it. My father had left me with my foster family because I looked like my mother. But he took my brother back and lied about it until now. “And he’s sick?” I asked, still trying to digest everything Ari had revealed.
“Yes. He wants to see you again and reconnect,” Ari added. “But I totally get it if you don’t want to.” However, I wanted to see my father.
I couldn't forgive him, especially after I became a mother myself. | Source: Pexels
I went to see him at the hospital and got the whole story from him. He asked for forgiveness, but that was the one thing I couldn’t give. I told him I was sorry and left his room. Luckily, Ari and I built a great relationship, and I helped him with our father’s medical bills, but that was it.
Years later, I became a mother and knew that I would have never done what my father did.
What can we learn from this story?
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who worked tirelessly to surprise his wife, and she ruined it.
This account is inspired by our reader's story but written by a professional writer. All names have been changed to protect identities and ensure privacy. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to email@example.com.