This Week's Story

The judge declared, "If this girl can survive the abuse that happened to her, there is hope for any foster child."

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

I want to live here.

“Susan, time to get up.”

Susan opened her eyes. She loved awakening in this happy room with curtains catching sunshine.

Soon she was on a school bus bound for her last day as a seventh grader at Mt. Baker Junior-Senior High School. Three months ago it had been one more school with staring faces. Now it was the school where she had stopped asking herself, Can I catch up?

Yes, she told herself, I am passing seventh grade. I am catching up! And, even though I have to move again, I am not going to another interim or foster home, or to my birth mother. She has never wanted me for long. Once I asked her, “Do you love me?”

“No,” she told me.

I am moving with my new family. They treat me like I am one of their kids. They are buying a big, old home in Ferndale, Washington. The closets upstairs are gigantic. Dad is going to teach English. Mom will teach piano and Beth is starting kindergarten. David is three. He’ll keep making dinosaurs.

Susan’s life was changing. She sensed that what she did mattered. Mom took her weekly to a counselor. Sometimes Susan talked in bits and pieces about what had happened to her. Parts of her life seemed to have disappeared from her memory.

Sometimes people were curious about where she had come from. Someone might answer with those awkward words, “Susan is a foster daughter.”

She discovered that in her family God was about more than attending church. He was part of every day. So was reading. She was expected to read at least thirty minutes a day. “Mom and Dad, I don’t like reading.”

“That may be now, but you will learn to love reading!”

Holidays were celebrated. She remembered past ugly holidays. One Christmas my birth father sent my siblings and me presents. My birth mother took one of my sisters and me to the garage. She gave us an ax and forced us to break every gift.

Shortly after eighth grade began Susan’s birth mother moved nearby. Sometimes Susan visited her siblings and her birth mom. She was told, “You’re coming to live with us or we’ll say that your foster family is hurting you.”

Without approval from court or the Department of Social and Health Services Susan’s birth mom took Susan and her siblings to Oregon. About six weeks passed. Then Susan’s family received a call from a social worker. “Would you take Susan back? Her mother doesn’t want her anymore.”

Susan’s family replied, “Yes, but only if her birth mother does not live nearby.”

Susan came home.

One day she became angry and announced, “Mom, I am not going to do what you want.”

“Susan, if you are going to live here and be in this family, you do have to respect my authority as your parent. You have a choice.”

Susan walked up a long staircase, stopped, and walked down the steps. “Mom, I want to live here.” Susan never discussed her choice again.

In her senior year there was a final court hearing regarding her status. The judge listened as a foster care worker reported Susan’s accomplishments in sports, theatre, vocal performances, and academic improvement.

He pretended to roll off his seat, straightened, and declared, “If this girl can survive the abuse that happened to her, there is hope for any foster child.”

Today Susan’s husband, children, and students know that she has received God’s love and gives love.

This is Barbara Steiner, Susan’s mom. Please check out thisweeksstory.com.

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