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Vol. 14, No. 1 • November 2009

Why My Siblings Are Important to Me

In the last issue we asked young people in foster care to answer the question, “Why are your siblings important to you?” Here’s what they had to say.
—John McMahon, Editor

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First Place

Joseph, age 7

My sister always tells me that she loves me. Jayden is the best sister in the world to me. She shares her toys and her pony with me because I don’t like my pony.

My sister is only three years old, but she has a big heart with me in it. Jayden is braver than me—she is not scared of the dark like me. When I was left alone in a big house all I had was my sister to keep me company till someone returned. I love her, even if sometimes I want peace and quiet.

I would be lost without her.

Joseph ’s essay won first prize, for which he was awarded $100.

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Second Place

Arlene, age 16

[When they] moved us and placed us all in different homes I felt as if God was punishing me for something. It broke my heart. . . . I had sleepless nights wondering: Is my sister OK? Has she been fed? Have they left the light on for her? I got on my knees and asked, “Why me, God?”

I could not see myself without siblings. I wouldn’t give them up for anything, not even if Bill Clinton, George Bush, or Barack Obama came to my door and asked for them. Though it would be nice to meet them, they can’t have my siblings. My family is my world. . . .

I am an only foster child in my home. It feels as if I am drowning . . . . because my sister is not with me.

What is important about siblings? Everything. . . . Yes, they can be annoying, but aren’t we all? My grandma always said before she died, “This would be a boring world without siblings because you would have no one to talk to, fuss with, or be nice to. So take advantage of what you have.” She was right. . . .

Having sisters and brothers is the most important part of life, right after moms. Enjoy every minute of them because when they are gone it feels like an eternity till you get to see them again.

Arelene won second place, for which she was awarded $50.

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Third Place

Cierra, age 17

My siblings meant everything to me, but over the course of the last two years, our relationship has slowly deteriorated. There were five of us altogether, but now I appear as an only child. . . .

The group home that we went to forever changed our relationship. Nothing has been the same. I see them and it feels like I don’t even know them at all. I raised my little sister from infancy and I see her now and she’s almost a stranger to me. Everything—or at least most of it—is out of my control. Our visits are limited. At one point, I couldn’t even talk to any of them at all. There would be times when we would have meetings, but no one would talk because it became so awkward since we were so far apart. Someday I would like to know if my siblings have overcome the past, but I don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet. I think it’s time for me to step out of the “mother” role and become the sister I was meant to be.

My relationship with my siblings isn’t the greatest. We were a close knit family. Now I’m out in the cold. I have faith that one day this will get better.

Cierra’s essay won third prize, for which she was awarded $25.

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Jamie, age 11

My brothers and I came to live with my aunt and uncle about three years ago. My brothers are Josh, who is five years old, and Johnny, who is a two-year-old terror. They are my best friends and playmates. We live on a farm. We do lots of fun things together. . . . My brothers bring joy not only to me but to the family. I think when I help my brothers it makes me a better person. When I am around them I teach them to do the right thing. We share good and bad memories of the past. Without them our family would not be the same. They make me very happy. I love them very much. Jamie received $15 for having this work published in Fostering Perspectives.

Jamie received $15 for having this essay published in Fostering Perspectives.

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Cyrano, age 12

My sister is important to me because she has been there and took care of me. Then one day she had to go somewhere else without me for a long time. We stayed separated until I went into foster care, too. After several years passed she had a baby boy and I became an uncle. During this time she turned 18, the visits stopped, and I began to feel all alone. Being away from my sister and not knowing how she’s doing makes me feel worried and sad. If I had one wish I would reverse everything so my sister would stay with me forever. If my sister was reading this essay I would want her to know that I want her back and please never leave me again.

Cyrano received $15 for having his essay published.

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David, age 14

Let me tell you why I am so close to my brother: my brother and I have been through everything together. When my mother passed away, we were there for each other. We never left each other’s side. You cannot ask for a better brother than this. If I ever need somebody to talk to, I can always count on him to listen and give me the best advice he has to give. If he needs somebody to talk to I am always there. . . . My brother and I have our share of arguments, but we still stick together through the good and the bad times. I love my brother and he loves me. He is the best a person can ask for. I would not give him up for all the money in the word.

David received $15 for having his essay published.

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D'Anna, age 11

My sister Lorisa is important because she can play with me when I am bored. Although she is only 7 years old, she’s still does a lot for me. When I’m down or sad she tries to cheer me up.

I also have two more brothers in another foster family. I get to see them on Fridays. But they’re still important to me, even though I cannot see them every day. I am thankful I can see them once a week.

My 9–year-old brother, Erick, is like my counselor. When we both failed the EOG (End of Grade tests), he was there to say to me, “It’s going to be OK—I failed, too.” We both share our tears. When the DSS worker left my house and took us to our destination, all the way there we cried.

My 4-year-old brother, Ryon, is a sweet little boy when he wants to be. He is my everything. He lives with my brother Erick. They’re all important to me—I love them with all my heart. Sometimes I might not like what they do or I might lose my temper and words will come out I don’t mean to say. But I don’t mean it. I cannot live without my brothers and sister on my side.

D'Anna received $15 for having her essay published.

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Brittany, age 14

My older brother and I are in two separate foster homes. Foster care isn’t all that bad. The hardest thing about being in foster care (even though we are a family) is being away from “MY” family. Through my 14 years of life, [I have lived] with my grandmother for ten, wilderness camp for a year, and now in a foster home. Through it all I don’t get to be with them. I love and miss them terribly. No matter what they’ll always be my brothers and sisters. Maybe someday God can bring us together and we can be a family again.

Brittany received $15 for having her essay published.

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Benjamin, age 8

“I have one foster brother and two adopted brothers. Also Zach, which was born. They are important because they help do jobs and when I’m in trouble they’re there to help me. I love my brothers.”

Benjamin received $15 for having his work published.

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Marti, age 16

My siblings mean the world to me because we were there for each other through all the ups and downs that we experienced with our birth mom. They are the only ones who understand me. I was the mom most of the time because I am the oldest and they would always tell me what was on their mind. I miss growing up with them. I wish on a star every night to see them again soon. It never comes true.

There are four of us. We haven’t been a major part of each other’s lives for eight years now. They have a different dad than I do and he don’t see how much I care about them. Honestly, I don’t think he cares. The most important thing is that they are happy and have what they need. My brothers and sister mean everything to me and I would do anything in my power for them. I want them to know that I love them with all my heart. I will see them again one day soon—I promise.

Marti received $15 for having her essay published.

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Kenneth, age 15

The only biological family I really know is my brothers. They mean the world to me. I think about them every day even though I have not seen them in three years. When I was eight they separated us from each other. DSS said I was taking too much of a father role and they just wanted me to be a normal kid. So I was moved. I was so sad, but later on I understood what they were saying.

I am going to start with my brother under me. Austin is 12. He is in grade 7. My youngest brother is 9. He is in grade 4. A lot of people say we look just alike. They are adopted by the same family in another county. I pray that one day we will reunite.

Kenneth received $15 for having his essay published.

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Other Writing and Artwork

Below you will find poetry and artwork unrelated to the writing contest.

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Jasper, age 15

Justice received $15 for having this artwork published.

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My Mother

by Arlene

My mother’s my world
No doubt about that
She brought me to Earth
She gave me my life


A Prayer

by Arlene

A prayer helps when you’re in need,
When the door is closed and you need a key.

Arlene received $15 for having her poems published.

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I Cry

by Ronda

I cry... for a man I do not know.
I cry.... for the security of being loved.
I cry... for you to see the deepening hole in my heart.
I cry... for you, daddy, whereever you are.

Are You Really Seeing?

by Ronda

Are you really seeing....
what's inside of me
or are you just seeing what meets the eye?

Are you really seeing....
my torn and broken heart
or are you just trying to score points?

Are you really seeing...
how much I am falling for you
or are you just  leading me to disaster?

Are you really seeing...
that I am scared of falling in love with you?

Ronda received $15 for having her poems published.

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