Earlier this week I published a letter from a young boy in foster care who called himself "Jamal" (the quotes were his, not mine, so I am not sure if this was his real name or not). Jamal wanted the family court judge who was to hear his adoption case to know just how much he wanted his foster family to be his forever family, so he asked me to print his letter in my column because "whatever people put on the Internet is there forever for everyone to see".
One of my readers sent in a special message of support and encouragement for Jamal, and I found it so touching that I pushed it to the top of my letters queue. Jamal, the rest of this column is for you! (The rest of you can read along, too, though!).
I am a friend of Tazi Kat through his Mommy. I read your letter today and was very touched. I too once wished for a forever home while I was living in Foster Care in Rhode Island. It sounds to me like you have a very good foster family that loves you very much. I just wanted to pass my words of encouragement on to you as I too had to go in front of the judge to make it happen for me too!
My forever home came to be back in the 1970’s, as I said, after going in front of the judge. The judge was very nice to me and my little brother. He took us into his chambers, (that is a fancy word for his office that is just off the courtroom.) While we were in there, he was really nice to us, he even gave us each a piece of gum!! In his chambers, he asked me and my little brother where we wanted to live. (I was your age when this happened too!!) The judge will look at everything that is best for you. That is what his job is…. To make a decision as to what is best for you, and make sure that it happens.
Being afraid and scared is normal, however, we, even at your young age of 8, are never handed anything that we cannot handle. My advice to you, though Tazi would not offer any as you did not ask for it, is walk into that courtroom as tall as you can, keep your shoulders back, look the judge right in the eyes and tell him how you feel about where you are living. Be polite, always be polite. I would even give the judge a couple of examples of why you think this should be your forever home.
Jamal and your foster, hopefully soon to be forever home, my prayers will be with you through the coming months.
A friend through the system