by Jody T
The child behind the door.
I had a mom (birth giver) for about a year I think, not sure how old I was when I was taken from her. It is my understanding that I was adopted twice before and was given back to state care by the time I was two years old. They said the third time was a charm. Let me tell you about the charmed life I had with my now fourth set of parents. It all started at age two.
At two years old I had been bounced from home to home hoping someone along the way would love me and want to keep me. I was taken in by a foster family who a year later adopted me when I was three. These new parents were wonderful! There is a father, mother and two older brothers and a lot of close relatives, all showering me with love and attention.
Just before my adoption to this family, at age three, I was pulled to the side by Dad and told "We chose you. No one else wants you. They will take you and put you in a bad place if you don't tell the judge you want to live with us." So the adoption went through without a hitch. I wonder now at forty-four years old about this "Bad place" I would have been sent to... and how much worse it would have been.
I remember being in the courtroom. As I sat there in my pretty dress and shiny new shoes like a proper young lady with my hands in my lap and ankles crossed under my seat because I did not want to upset my new family and make them not want me anymore.
I was so scared when the judge started talking to me... asking if I was happy and if I liked this new family and wanted to live with them forever. This 3-year-old should not be asked these things. Didn't he know that these wonderful people chose ME! ME out of hundreds of other children! I was the one! They have kept me for a whole year and now say they want me forever!!! YES! YES! YES!!
For about three months after my adoption I was showcased in every little thing in their lives. I was and had everything. I was Daddy and Mom's little rescued perfect princess. My new brothers told the neighbor kids if they ever hurt me they would hurt them.
At church everyone wanted to visit with us. It would take us hours after service to go home. That was the first year I was baby Jesus at our church. I understood that I had to do it perfect or God will be mad. After three years of being Jesus, a new baby was born in the church so now it was Jesus. My dad blamed me for not being good enough. If only I had not eaten so much to make me grow so much (I was very tiny and very thin at the time). I remember him cutting my hair off (if I couldn't be Jesus I did not deserve to have girls’ hair). They then made me be the little drummer boy till I was twelve. Even as an adult when I have gone back to visit, the pastor points me out as the girl who played Jesus and The Little Drummer Boy. If only he knew all that was involved when playing these parts.
There was a fire in our home in the 70's. After the remodeling of the house I got my own room upstairs with my brothers sharing a room across the hall with a small bathroom between. Out my window was the back yard and just below me was our dog pen.
When I got my new room, it came with an empty dresser, a bed with no covers or pillows on it, and hook locks on the outside of the door. There were promises that I would have my belongs soon as they were able to bring them up but for now I'd have to make do with what was in there as they shut the door and locked me inside my room. Ok. I’ll be good and just sit here and wait, watching the birds outside my new window. I hear talking from outside somewhere below me and the car starting. Oh no! They forgot me! I see the car pull out, in it is Mom, Dad, and both brothers. Smiling and having a good laugh. They will come back. Yep they did. With ice cream cones Yummy! Oh I can't wait to get mine! I'm so hungry! I waited. They never came. No ice cream for me. My knocking on the door and calls to them go unanswered. Why can't they hear me? Have I disappeared? That would explain why no one looked up at me and saw me in my window.
It was the next night when I had been let out; by that time I had wet myself a few times and was told I must have been sneaking out some how to get drinks for there to be that much pee. I was 4 years old. There was no way out of that room. I was given a bath by my mom that was very rough and ice cold both her and the water. Has she stopped loving me? I was red and raw when she was done. "Just wait till your father gets home!!" I thought yep. He'll be talking to you when he sees what you did to me. I was then put back in my room with no clothes at all.
I hear the car pulling in! Daddy is home! He will come get me and let me get my stuff and let me eat! I hear talking downstairs through the register in the floor. She is telling him I snuck out and was drinking and eating everything in the house! Now he is yelling...not at her...but about me. I didn't do that. He is coming up the stairs. Good now I can tell him I did not do what she says I did. The hook pops and the door opens. The look on his face...I never seen this look before...not what I am used to. "Where are your clothes? Shut up! We chose you and this is how you treat us? You’re lucky you have a home! Do you want us to give you back like those other people did? Huh, huh, DO YOU? Speak child!" No. "Then why would you be so ungrateful and mean to your family? I have to give you a spanking to teach you right and wrong." That was the first time the belt came off his pants and I was left a bloody lump on the floor. I didn't move for days. Not even to get on the bed. No one came to my door.
I don't know how many days went by when I was locked in my room. Someone came and unlocked my door I was told to get a bath and this time I would not have help. After the last bath I was thankful there was no help. There were clothes and fresh towels waiting for me in the bathroom. It was heaven. My body still black and blue from shoulders down, ah the hot water was so good. It burned off the pain. That night we had dinner as a family where I was told to slow down my eating... my fork was gonna catch on fire and burn down the house...and we don't want that to happen again! My room stayed unhooked for a while... I got to start school.
At school I got asked all the time if I was a boy or a girl with my short hair... my small tiny thin frame. I wore long sleeves and long pants usually the same ones over and over because I did not have anything else. When I did get new clothes it was because we were going to spend time at Grandma’s house for a holiday. My old ones would disappear.
After the holiday was over whatever gifts and stuffs I received would go into the trunk of the car... never to be seen again. That night the hook was locked on my door again. Days go by... I hear the hook unlocking... my door opens... it's Dad... with that look in his eyes again. No talking just pulling the belt off his pants, staring at me and closing the door. He left when I stopped moving....at all... I even held my breath so I was not being defiant. The door locked behind him. I was very glad it was over... now I could sleep.
It became normal for teachers at school to ask me how I was feeling. They would all say ‘What a shame’ that I was a sickly child and had to miss so much school. I got free lunch at school. It was the only meal I got most days. One night I was eating too fast again and Dad made me go to school with a note on my shirt that said “do not feed!" for the whole next week. They honored his note without question. I was so hungry. I asked to go to the bathroom before lunch one day and took 5 packed lunches out of random lockers (Grade school... no locks...) and took them to the bathroom and ate every single crumb! I did this a few times before they caught me. I was taken to the office where they used a wooden paddle on my already bruised butt. It didn't hurt. Then they called Dad. I was back in my locked room for I don't know how long in a bloody pile on the floor.
I was out of my room less and less. And beatings came more and more. My brother, the younger of the two, snuck in my room after Dad left. Dad always left the house after the beatings, and would have sex with me while I was still lying in a bloody pile on the floor. My oldest brother started sneaking in after Dad and my other brother where done with me. Doctored me up and gave me food when he could.
My oldest adopted brother was my savior many, many times. He found me dead three different times and I don't know how but he got me to the hospital all three times. With made up stories when the parents got there, the hospital would doctor me up and send me back home with a ‘be more careful next time.’ There is more to my story... But getting it out...The struggle is real.
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