Boy Rejected by Foster Families Brings Potential Family a Report Card to Prove He's Worthy of Love
A boy eventually started trying to prove he was worthy of love to families he was presented to in hopes they would adopt him and not cast him away — they did.
Liz Curtis Faria had just picked up a seven-year-old boy named Stephen (not his real name) in her Toyota and was driving away from the home the boy had known temporarily when she heard him utter some words.
"Nobody loves me. Not even my mother who gave birth to me," he said as he let out aching sobs. If anyone told Faria that the boy crying in the backseat of her car was the same one who had quietly gathered his things earlier with his head bowed as they left behind the family that had fostered him, she wouldn't have believed them.
[Left] Picture of Liz Curtis Faria and her kid; [Right] Picture of Stephen walking | Source: facebook.com/Liz Curtis Faria || facebook.com/lovewhatreallymatters
It was not his first rodeo, and Faria, who was his caseworker, had known him to resist leaving by running around and ducking behind furniture.
She knew this move had hurt him very deeply because he had high hopes for the family and had felt some affection from them. At his age, he had switched families more times than the total number of years he had been alive, and, as usual, his things were being moved in a fragile trash bag.
At nine, Stephen was still in the foster system but smarter now; he had decided he would prove he was worthy of parental love with his intelligence.
One day he joined Faria at an adoption event where they were to meet families interested in taking in an older child. He had a fair chance as the families had not automatically dismissed him with all of his long "history."
For the adults to take him home, he knew he had to make a good impression, and to achieve this, he would take his good report card along to such meetings as tangible proof that he was worth loving.
Unfortunately, this didn't change anything, and in the end, the families never picked him up. At 12, he was still trying to hold down a family of his own, and according to Faria, he became more outspoken whenever they recorded the Foster kids for a news spot program on TV.
Faria admitted he was constantly engaging on camera, perhaps in hopes it would prove he deserved some love. Nothing changed. Faria moved on from her job as a social worker, but Stephen remained in the Foster system, getting picked up then let back down in trash bags.
Years after she stopped working as a social worker, Faria got an email from her former boss checking up on her and ending it with a short message about Stephen.
He was in a DYS lockup after running away from his foster home. "You need to adopt him," the message read. Faria had considered his adoption before, but she had taken no step toward actually doing it.
Then she heard that he had been murdered by her friend who saw it in the news. He had been shot outside a party over some silly argument.
He had been 18, and his death hurt Faria to the bone. She was present for his funeral, and so was the boy's mother — he had been wronged, and she loved him in her own way, but like Faria, she had been unable to give him a family.
Faria has called for the foster system to be reviewed and improved so that these kids can receive proper care. She believes their belongings should never be moved in a trash bag and that the social workers need to actually take time to do their jobs thoroughly.
This is hard as the foster system sector is allegedly understaffed and underfunded, but she believes that with more help from the government, things can change, and kids won't have to be displaced carelessly.
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