My family was constantly reported to Child Protective Services for all different reasons, mainly for abuse and neglect. Those are just words to me because what I experienced was much more vivid. My life was a living hell. At a very young age, my mother would make me do things to my sister and younger brother as she watched. My dad wasn't any better. He did the same thing with my other brothers and was violent in other ways too. Some things I can't erase from my thoughts. One time he made us eat cereal when we weren't hungry. When we were done, he made us eat another bowl and then another until we got sick. Then he made us eat what we just threw up. Another time, my dad killed one of our dogs in front of us and then told us this would happen to us if we didn't do what he asked us to do. We were always frightened. He would make me hurt my brothers and sister then tell me I did a good job.
Our parents made us move all the time. They were paranoid and would always say that people were out to get us. Now that I'm older, I realize they were probably worried about Child Protective Services checking them out.
Healing has not been easy for Evan. It took years of therapy and patience from the staff at The House. Early on, Evan would sit in silence during his therapy sessions, holding in all of his trauma. To break the silence, Evan's therapist would ask him to read aloud. When he read, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, she said, "I knew that I had reached him. He stopped pushing me away and was trying to find out who he was, by reading." Finally, when his parents were arrested, he felt safe. He began to trust and realize that he could transform his life. He started doing better in school; he was unstoppable.
Once I was finally taken from my house and started to work with Michelle and Dan from The House, my life changed forever. They placed me with my first foster mom, and she was wonderful. She accepted me the way I was and didn't judge me on my past. I started to realize that I could trust someone. I began to make friends in school and eventually made the Honor Roll. My foster mom, Marie, and Michelle and Dan really changed my life. I began to realize that I was okay, that people would like me, and I could like myself.
Once my parents gave up rights to me, I was told that I could be adopted. Even though Marie was a great foster mom, I knew deep down that we weren't a good fit for adoption. It took a long time, but when I met Carol, I felt like it was meant to be. She loved all of the same things I did, and she made me feel like I was home.
I visited her over the summer, and I had so much fun there. We got along so well that I moved in with her in September. Carol makes me feel important. She brings me to visit my grandma and my brothers. She takes me hiking and to see shows. At home, she sits down with me and watches TV and movies. I have my own room here and even my own bathroom! I'm happy, and I think she's happy too. I'm hoping we will decide together that she will adopt me. Time will tell what will happen next, but I know whatever it is, it's going to be great and that I have control over my future and my happiness from now on.
It took awhile but Carol showed me I could trust her. All my life I was promised things, and they always fell through. Carol turned all of that around for me.
UPDATE: On November 20, 2012, Evan's adoption was finalized. He is a Junior in high school and doing very well. Like any teen, Evan is excited because he just earned his Learner's Permit! The House of the Good Shepherd helped create a family - a happy family!