YEAR TWELVE

If you missed the last post, you can catch up here

Oh boy. Writing this next chapter has given me pause because I am about to start describing the foundations of relationships I still have, but that didn’t start out as they exist today. I teetered back and forth about whether I would cause more harm than good by continuing this blog and wondered why I started it all in the first place. For all its rocky moments and embarrassing adolescent phases, this is my story and for so long, I didn’t have a voice to share it. Now that I do, I have decided to tell the truth, my whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me!

With that said, if you’re reading this and you find yourself somewhere in black and white Arial 14, your role in my story should come as no surprise. Chances are we’ve long since hashed out our differences and we now operate as mature-ish individuals who know damn well what little assholes we were once upon a time. Let’s remember that as we move into the golden age of the 2000’s.

Laurel, Shane and I, bellies stuffed with ButterBurgers and custard, unloaded in the parking lot of OSF St. James Hospital. We were led to the front desk where adult gibberish filled the reception area and we stood awkwardly taking in the environment. I don’t remember going to the doctor’s office with our last family, and would have to hunt around Google to even find the name of Clinton’s hospital. As luck would have it, the Children’s home that placed us with the Statton’s has since closed and though we’ve made multiple requests, our foster care records have been unobtainable, so the paper trail of any doctor visits would be pretty hard to find.

So there we were, in our home made clothes, me with hair clips painfully parting my hair straight down the middle, gawking out the huge windows in the lobby. It was now evening and the sun was starting to make its descent across the sky, casting an orange hue over the parking lot. People were coming into the hospital for this and that, and my siblings and I were now giddy with excitement, guessing which couple would be our new parents. We imagined our new life with this young couple exiting their red Toyota, whispering over each other about the dogs we might have, fighting over who would get their own rooms, imagining the male as some well-off local business man (don’t laugh, we had only been in town five minutes), all the way until they got to the automatic doors. We held our breath as they approached, sitting bolt upright, hands resting neatly on our knees, chins held high, so as to present ourselves worthy of their prestige, aaaaaaaand they walked right past us without so much as a glance. OK, I guess they’re just here for a colonoscopy or something, so nevermind them. NEXT! We whipped around in our seats and started all over. This went on for about an hour – we made up fantastical lives and were crushed when we were wrong and people went about their business in front of us. Eventually, an older couple approached the hospital entrance and we didn’t even bother playing our game with them. Fat chance they’d be looking to take on 3 kids. We turned around, arms crossed, slumped down in our seats, kicking each other absentmindedly. The detectives next to us stood up to greet the couple who just walked in, motioning them over to us. Still not recognizing the situation, we stared blankly. “Guys, meet the Wintors. They’re going to be taking care of you for a while!” Making no attempt to hide our disappointment, we agreed to this arrangement, knowing it wouldn’t matter if we didn’t, and grabbed our backpacks to leave. The Wintors were nothing but kind, doing their best to ease us into our new life.

After our ungrateful little asses got over our rags to riches fantasy, we were introduced to the Wintor’s other children. They were also foster kids who had been adopted some time ago and from our vantage on their front porch, seemed to be in good health and well adapted. Maybe this wasn’t going to be such a bad placement after all.

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