Sunday, September 16, 2012

Storming In

With alabaster skin, blonde hair and chocolate brown eyes, she captured my heart as soon as she raced into our classroom. Tia spoke with a slight lisp and screamed with conviction. She was tiny for her age but could throw a chair across the room like a WWF champion. She kicked and bit and scratched and knew words no four year old should. 

She was living in a foster home by then with a recently divorced woman in her late 40s whose children were grown and gone. Jill had no intention of adopting Tia and her dark skinned three year old brother. She met their basic needs but she wasn't in it for the long haul. She was finding herself after all these years-going back to school and starting over.

When Tia told me stories about Bad Mommy I learned to fight back my own tears. 

"Bad Mommy made me take a bath and it was very, very hot. And I screamed and screamed and she held me down. It hurted so much."

Tia suffered horrific burns when her biological mom placed her in a tub of scorching water and tried to drown her.

"When Bad Mommy and him was sleeping I go and digged in the parks. I gotted us food and we ate and ate."

Tia would sneak out of the house and scavenge through trash for food for herself and her little brother. She wasn't tall enough to reach the lock on the door so she climbed out the window her mom kept open.

As the school year was nearing the end we got word that Tia and her brother were being adopted.  It was exciting and bittersweet meeting her adoptive parents. I shared her struggles and accomplishments with them. I was overjoyed for her new life and family but saddened that she wouldn't come storming into our classroom everyday. 

On the final day, Tia slipped her hand into New Mommy's, looked back and waved. I cried all the way home.

Tia is twenty now. I wonder what her life is like?

Sh taught me the power of resilience and hope.

Today’s (optional) prompt: Who has dropped into your life and made it better?

**Disclaimer: I wrote more than five minutes today. The words just started spilling out.
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PsychoTwin (Kelster) said...

Wow. I have lots of emotions here but I want to focus on the happy ones. I'm happy that Tia and her brother found a New (GOOD) Mommy. No child - no one - should ever have to endure what she endured at such an early age.
I hope (and am sure) she has grown into a beautiful, strong young lady. I hope that one day you find her again.

Jill said...

You're going to make me cry! So happy she was adopted, but can't help but think of those children that don't... Ugh.

Kimberly said...

Oh these stories just kill me. My aunt is a foster/adoptive mother and knowing how many children she has saved from situations similar to this is amazing to me.

Gina said...

Oh boy! This brought tears to my eyes in a wonderful "Tia" way. This story was marvelous. I have no doubt Tia made an impact on you because she did on me too. I am so happy that the little family found each other and are happy now!

Fritter said...

Oh wow! And I wonder too- where she is. Have you ever tried to look for her on FB or google? I would really want to know- and hope against hope that she was having a wonderful life. I am glad she was lucky.

jana said...

Wow. This makes me cry. I wish you could find her, even if it's only to know from a distance that she's ok. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Kimberly Speranza said...

Amazing strory. One that will be with me for quite a while, for certain.

Robbie K said...

The stories she told of the horrors she lived were just heartbreaking. I was so glad I was able to meet her adoptive parents though I often wonder how her life turned out.

Robbie K said...

I get weepy whenever I think of her but I am so glad she found a forever family. I only wish all children could find a loving family.

Robbie K said...

I've always wanted to be a foster parent. You see first hand what a difference it makes. The world is blessed to have people like your aunt.

Robbie K said...

Thank you. She is definitely a child that lives in my heart forever.

Robbie K said...

I wish I could find her but I don't even know where to begin. We were never told the adoptive parents last name and I do know they lived about 2 hours from our school in a much bigger city.

Robbie K said...

You are most welcome. I wish I could find her but I don't think I ever will. I have been fortunate to run into or hear about some of the other at-risk children I worked with.

Robbie K said...

Thank you. those words mean so much to me coming from you.