Angela’s Story in Foster Care
My name is Angela and at the age of five, I was placed in a facility called Open Door Children’s Home in Rome, GA. At the time, it was home to both boys and girls; boys down one hall and girls down the next.
By the time I was 7 years old, I had been in several different foster homes with and without my older sister. Then a really nice man and his wife came to visit me. They were called The Baldwin’s. I was so excited as I really liked them. Then one weekend I got to go stay with them. Everything was so normal until it came bedtime and when my soon to be foster dad came in to tell me goodnight. At first he started tickling me. Well that was fun until he put his hands between my legs. When he was finished I remember him telling me not to tell and that if I did tell, that my soon to be foster mom would not want me. I was a child who wanted a mama to love me so I kept the secret. A few weeks later I was placed in the home and the abuse went from touching to him forcing himself inside me. This continued while in his care. He kept telling me that if I told anyone, my foster mom wouldn’t want me. I didn’t want to be sent away. Then the threats started because I wanted him to stop hurting me. I hated him but never showed him that I hated him because I was too afraid.
Then five kids came to stay and Penny became my sister by heart; especially when we realized he was molesting us both. We were both the same age – we were 8 years old. Penny had two little sisters who were twins; I remember waking up to one of them crying and went to find her. Not realizing the abuse that was going to be placed on me even more, I told him to leave her alone. I didn’t care what he did to me any more and that was true. I never thought that I would be out of the home. I hated him but yet in some ways loved him too.
I am older now and realize I wanted him to love me but not to abuse me. He also raped my sister Suzie who was a year older than me. He made Penny and I sit and watch. This was his way to keep control over us – to keep us silent. He also tortured Penny’s two brothers in front of us. This was to show us what would happen when we did tell. That kept us silent as as we didn’t want him to hurt the boys.
When Penny and her siblings went back to their birth mother, I was left alone with him again. I hated the summer because that meant no school and abuse from him all day. I wanted to die and I prayed that I would. I hated the nights and remember many times pretending to be asleep. It worked at first but then he would get me up anyway; he didn’t care. I later found out that Penny’s mother kept on insisting to the authorities that they needed to get me out of the home. The day the social worker came to get me, I lied about what was happening. I was placed in a room and a woman started asking the questions they ask a child they suspect has been abused. I was scared.
Even while I was being readied for court, I still had not told the truth. They then showed me the other kids on video saying what had been done to them. Then the quiet twin’s video came out. I had been really close to the twins at the time and when she started crying that is when I broke. I admitted that he had molested BUT I never admitted that he raped me… until now.
For years I carried the secret of him raping me. My adopted parents never knew it either; I told no one. I wanted to forget it all happened. I felt dirty and felt that no one would want me if they knew he had done that to me. When taken from the home, I was placed back in Open Door Home. Remember I said it was co-ed boys and girls? Well, a 16 year old boy held me down as he told a 13 year old boy to have sex with me. He told him that it would make him a man. The 16 year old boy never did anything other than sneak in my room; he would lay on me and tell me the things he wanted to do to me but he never went any further. He just terrorized me with his thoughts. This was another secret that I kept.
The reason I am sharing is because I cannot keep the silence anymore. It has slowly been the killer of my soul and, since becoming a Christian, I knew that I wanted to work with abused kids. Recently, God has shown me it is the children within the adults that need healing as well and this has become my journey of healing. I have learned that I am not a victim of abuse – I am a survivor. I like the word OVERCOMER because it is true. Each time I share what happened to me, and someone comes forth, I know it is my PURPOSE to be a VOICE for those who are being abused and who haven’t come forth yet… they will!
Now that I am older, I see things differently. I had to go through the abuse to be able to understand and help others; those who are going through the same thing I did or have been through it. God is the one who has brought me through this. Yes, those around me helped but God placed them in my life to help guide me. He has been the one to mold me into who I am today. I have never done this before and would love your prayers as I continue to reach out to others.
Love and Prayers, Angela
If you have any questions, or are wanting to seek further advice and support, please feel free to get in touch.