The Fostering Network occasionally receives poems, pieces of fiction and other work produced by young people in foster care. While we can't publish everything, we did feel that this piece from Danielle showed a maturity in tackling some very big issues.
This work does including content and themes which young readers might find distressing.
Danielle is only 12 years old, and this is her work of fiction.
There was a knock on the door. I woke up. “Mia get down here now!” Mum shouted
“What’s going on mum?” I replied.
“It’s the police,” she said
“I scattered down stairs in my purple spotty dressing gown and pink puppy slippers, and saw my dad in hand cuffs and my mum crying.
Some tall guy gently took my arm and put me into a car. My mum was screaming and telling him to get off me. “What’s going on?” I shouted. “What’s going to happen to me?”
“Everything is going to be OK, and I love you”.
They were the last words she said to me before I was driven away to a place I have never been before.
Eventually, after what seemed like forever, I got out of the car and in front of me was a massive house. It was like the size of a mansion. As I walked closer, I saw a friendly looking woman and man waiting for me on the door step. They had a little boy that looked about three. As I stepped out of the car they gave me a smile and said “Hello Mia. How very nice to meet you”. They shook my hand while the little child stared at my purple spotty dressing gown.
After getting inside, my new foster parents led me to my new room and unpacked my stuff. Even though they were very nice, I stayed in my room for the whole day. As night approached, I feel asleep with tears running down my cheeks. I was thinking about my mum and dad trying to figure out why he did what he did and why it had to happen to me. Why do all the bad things happen to me? Is my family unlucky or something? Whilst sleeping all kinds of thoughts ran through my head. As I was twisting and turning in the middle of the night I was so worried about what I was going to tell my friends. What I could say to them to make it all better?
The next day, I came downstairs and slowly ate my breakfast. My foster mum started to talk to me. She said something like “Have a great day at school Mia. Just try to get through the day and if you have any problems, you can always phone and talk to me.
I reluctantly said “OK thanks” then my foster dad came downstairs
“Come on then, let’s get a move on,” he said. And gave me a smile, “are you ready Mia?”
“Yes thanks,” I said.
So we got inside the car and he dropped me off at school. I totally forgot that my best friend Ellie waits for me outside the school, gates every morning. As soon as I got out of the car, she waved at me and said “Hi who was that man?”
“Oh that was just my foster dad!” I said.
“OMG! I am so sorry, I didn’t even know you were in foster care.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be going back home soon. My mum and dad are going to sort everything out. They promised.”
“Well that’s good isn’t it?” she said.
“Yep sure is,” I agreed.
“What’s wrong Mia?” my teacher Mrs Cakes said.
“Nothing miss” I said.
“You know I know you are in care,” Mrs Cakes said.
“Yeah but not for long because my mum and dad are going to sort it out and they are going to be nice to each” other I exclaimed.
“OK Mia. That is perfectly fine. It’s just that you aren’t concentrating on your work like you usually do!” Mrs Cakes said.
Sorry miss I was just thinking I cried.
“OK just try and do what you can mrs.cakes kindly said.
I know she was just trying to be nice and stuff, but I didn’t like the way she was treating me differently.
After a tiring 6 hours of working hard at school I run out of the school gates! And stand near the entrance to wait for my foster dad. Once he arrives I jump into the car. My foster dad Dave says “Hello Mia you look so very jolly”
“Because I am,” I happily replied.
“Why is that then Mia?” he happily replies.
“Because I am seeing my mum tomorrow and my dad the day after!” I screech.
“Oh yes, I have got some bad news for you,” he says sadly.
“Why what’s happened? I whisper.
“Well, unfortunately you can’t see your dad until he is out of custody,” He polity says.
“What that’s so unfair, I cry.”
“I am so sorry,”
I go home and I see my little foster brother chewing my pink puppy slippers that my mum got me! “Get off you stupid idiot!” I say.
My foster mum comes running! My foster brother is crying. My foster mum calmly says, “What happened?” and slowly removes my foster brother from the lounge and passes him to her husband. She sits me down and says, “Why did you do that Mia?”
I scream at her, “He shouldn’t touch my stuff. He got slobber all over it. He’s so stupid!”
My foster mum tells me that he is much younger than me and he didn’t know what he was doing.
I scream and start to cry. “I don’t care. I hate it here. I want to go home. I miss my mum and dad. I HATE, HATE, HATE it here, “I say.
“I am sorry. I know how you feel,” my foster mum says.
I shout at her, “No you don’t. You aren’t the one in care are you?” I say, “NO! So shut up you idiot.”
I run up to my room, jump on my bed and scream “I wish I was dead!” After an hour of crying I silently walk down stairs. I get a knife. Run back upstairs. Then run into the bathroom. I look at myself in the mirror. I see this ugly girl with no life at all. I stare into the mirror for about five minutes. Then I cut my wrists till I can see the blood oozing out of my flesh and dripping on the bathroom floor.
I sit there crying. After about fifteen minutes my foster mum walks in and sees me holding the knife. She immediately calls my foster dad. He runs upstairs. They try talking to me. I don’t answer, I just blank them out. Then they get the first aid kit and patch me up. My foster dad then carries me to bed. As he leaves the room, he leaves the door slightly open so they can check on me.
The next morning, I slowly walk down scared of what they are going to do and say. I get down stairs and my foster mum sees me. She looks at me and smiles.
She gives me a hug and says, “Good morning darling”.
I smile at her and say “Why aren’t you mad at me?”
“Why would I be mad at you sweetheart?”
“Because I cut myself, and I shouted at you and called you mean names,” I say quietly.
“It’s OK honey. I know you are under pressure. Forgive and forget, eh?” she replies.
A little later my foster dad comes down stairs with my little foster brother and says, “Good morning Mia”. And my little foster brother gives me a cheeky smile as if to say, “I still love you”.
Anyway, I say “Morning” to my foster dad and smile at my foster brother and then say, “Can we go now?”
“But you haven’t had breakfast yet,” my foster mum says.
“Its ok, I will have some at school. I promise,” I reply.
“Ok darling have a great day,” she says.
I arrive at school. “Hi Mia. Is everything OK with your mum and dad?” Ellie asks.
“Yeah. Great in fact” I blurt out.
“How do you know that?” Ellie says.
“Because my mum phoned me yesterday and told me things were going well.” As I am speaking I look down and realise I am blushing.
“That’s great Mia.”
"I know right,” I say to Ellie. Although I was trying to smile, I could feel myself shaking inside.
Me and Ellie walk into the class. Miss sees that I’m unhappy. She pulls me aside and gently asks me to go and sit in her office. And then she tells everyone to take out their books and do some silent reading.
She then comes to her office and says to me, “Why are you looking so unhappy Mia?”
“I don’t know miss” I say.
“Mia please can you take that jacket off. It is not school uniform.” Miss frowns and looks directly into my eyes.
“Yes Miss,” I say.
“Oh my! Mia. What on earth happened to your arm?”
“Please don’t tell anyone Miss, but I cut myself, because I was depressed, that’s why I’m wearing the jacket.”
“Alright Mia, you can keep the jacket on for today. OK?” Miss replies.
As I walk down the corridor, my head teacher Mr Shan stops me. “Why are you wearing that jacket? It’s not school uniform,” he says.
“Mrs Cakes said I could, because I haven’t got a school jumper yet.”
“Ok that’s fine. How is everything at home?” he asks.
“What, with my mum and dad?” I say.
“Yes if you don’t mind me asking,” he says.
“Yeah! Everything is perfect. They’re getting on very well,” I say.
Later I am in my humanities class, then I get sent to the year office. So I run down there to find my foster parents and my foster brother sitting there. With a frown on my face I say, “What’s going on?”
“I am so sorry Mia, but your dad died this morning,” my foster dad says.
I collapse on the floor and start to scream. “No this can’t happen, everything was perfect!”
“What do you mean everything was perfect?” My foster dad frowns at me.
“Your dad used to hurt you mum Mia!” my foster mum says.
I couldn’t take this. I run out of the office and I ran all the way to my mum’s. The door was open, so I walked in and ran up to her bedroom. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I saw my mum with another man! I screamed. My mum looked at me. I ran towards her and slapped her around the face. I stood there. I stared at her. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. “You betrayed dad!”
I ran back to my foster home and found my social worker had come to see me. “Mia can I talk to you in private please?” she said.
“Fine.” I have to stop myself walking back out of the house.
She sat me down and said, “Do you want therapy?”
I starred at her for what seemed like hours. “I’m not a crazy!”
“I didn’t say you were. I just thought you would like to share your feelings with somebody.”
I didn’t say anything.
I cry myself to sleep. The next morning I wake up with a headache. I run down stairs, but before my foster parents could say “good morning” I rush out the door and run to the corner shop to meet a man to get some cocaine.
He is standing there waiting. He was in a black leather jacket and boots. “How much do you want?” he says as though he is talking to himself.
“I want £5 pounds worth please,” I say.
“Here you go. Now get out of here and keep your mouth shut. Got it?”
“OK sure,” I reply. I run to an ally way and check that nobody is looking. I unwrap the package and sniff the white powder in one go. I then sit on the dirty
ground for a few minutes, but then realise I need to get to school.
As I was walking to school I fell to the floor and was sick. I couldn’t even see properly!
Finally, “Get to assembly quick you are late!” my head teacher says. I slowly walked to the theatre. I sat down. My form tutor started talking. I could tell it was her, because of her accent. “Lots of people have troubles in their life. For example, Mia’s dad passed away and her mum and dad always used argue!” she said.
I literally stopped breathing, I think my heart stopped beating too. Everyone looked at me, including Ellie. Ellie stood up and shouted, “You lied to me Mia. You said everything was perfect. Why would you lie to me? I thought you were my best friend!”
“I am sorry.” I burst into tears.
Everyone stood up and started shouting. So I stood up as well. I was so weak, I fainted. As I fell I hit my head on a plastic chair. My ear started to bleed! My tutor ran and told everyone to leave the room and she called the hospital.
Next day, I found myself in hospital, with mum was sitting next to me. As I woke up I screamed and said to my mum, “Get away from me! I never want to see you again – and I mean never!”
My mum started to cry.
“You deserve to die in hell. I hate you so much! You are not my mum, I hate you. Why would you do that to dad?”
“I am so, so sorry Mia I wasn’t thinking and anyways your dad is dead she cried.
“I wish it was you that died. I don’t care if dad is dead. You shouldn’t have done that. I wouldn’t care if you got hit by a bus right now. In fact I would laugh!”
I leave hospital and get back to my foster placement two days later and I actually regret saying that to my mum! I run down stairs to pick up the phone because it was ringing. And I say hello who is this a voice says, “Hello Mia. It is Cheryl your social worker I have got some more bad news for you”
“Your mum she has committed suicide.”
I scream, “NO!” I throw the phone at the wall. “This is all my fault. I made her kill herself.”
My foster dad runs down the stairs and said, “What on earth has happened?”
I hit him. I swore at him – and then I started to cry. He tried to talk to me, but as he spoke to me, I looked at the draw and then ran to get a knife out. My foster dad grabbed me – And as he snatched the knife off me, he accidently cut his hand.
He puts me on his lap and hugs me tight and strokes my head saying “Everything is going to be OK. I promise, we can get through this together. I will help you, and I will be there every step of the way.”
I stop crying and hug him and say, “I love you dad.”
And he hugs me back and says, “I love you too Mia.”
My foster mum walks down stairs and sees us hugging. She starts to cry and comes up to me, and kisses me on the forehead. I let go of my foster dad and run up to her. “I love you mum.” I give her a big kiss.
We all stay up and watch a film together, just like a real family. I fall asleep huddled up in my foster mum’s arms and my feet on my foster dad’s legs. When the film ended my foster dad woke me up and said, “Come on, we will all go and brush our teeth, then you will have to go to bed, because it is very late.”
“OK,” I replied.
I ran down stairs the next morning and said to my foster dad, “Can we leave now?”
“Yes,” he said.
So we left for school. When I got to school, I realised Ellie wasn’t waiting for me, so I went into class and there she was. “Hi Ellie,” I said. But she just turned her head away from me. So I tried to sit next to her. “Ellie I am so sorry for lying to you. I just wanted everything to be perfect. When I lied the first time, it seemed so convincing and I just couldn’t stop. Ellie please forgive me. I won’t ever do it again – I promise!”
“No you won’t, because I am not going to speak to you ever again,” she cried.
“Ellie please don’t do that. You are my best friend – in fact my only friend. And I really want it to stay like that.”
“Look! I am not allowed to speak to you, or sit next to you. My mum said if I do, she will ground me. So I guess we can’t be best friends. I am sorry Mia,” she cries.
“It’s fine, I understand.” I feel as though I have been hit by a bullet.
After tutor time, instead of going to my going first lesson, I went to Ellie’s house. When I knocked on the door her mum answered and said, “Hello there Mia, what can I do for you?”
“Why did you say Ellie wasn’t allowed to talk to me?” I say.
“I didn’t say such a thing. Why would I say that Mia? You are a great friend of hers. She is always talking about how you make her laugh. I wouldn’t keep her away from somebody she likes so dearly!” she replies.
I quickly make it back to school. I don’t think anyone realised I had gone, which is good! However I was very sad that Ellie lied. So I walked up to her and said
“Ellie why did you lie? I have just been to your house and spoke to your mum about it.”
“Why did you do that Mia?” she exclaimed.
“Because I wanted to find out why – and if your mum said what you said she had said,” I stopped and looked at her. “And she didn’t, so you can’t blame me for lying, when you did it too.”
As I walked home crying I thought to myself she must be hiding something from me otherwise she wouldn’t have looked so scared when I told her I’d been to her house. I guess I will never know because she hates me. I knew that a friendship like this would be too good to be true.
When I walked into the house my little foster brother ran up to me. So I picked him up and he gave me a big slobbery kiss and I hugged him “Mia” he said.
I shouted, “He said my name. He actually said my name. Oh my god, he said my name!” I was so happy my foster mum and dad ran to me and we all had a massive group hug and that made me happy because that made me feel like this was a proper family.