One City One Story 2016 Writing Contest: “A Vivid Memory”
Category 2: Grades 6-8
“My Life Story”
by Serena Elise Brown
Blair Middle School
It all started out when I was two years old. My mom was on drugs and not doing well, and my dad was encouraging her to do it. I had two other fraternal sisters on my mom’s side and eleven other brothers and sisters on my dad’s side, which I have never met. I grew up with my two older sisters who were a year and eleven days older than me. When I was three and my sisters were four, they took us out of our mom’s house because my dad and my mom would argue and fight all the time. So they took us out of our home and put us in a foster home.
For those three years until I was seven, my sisters and I have been put in eleven other foster homes between those three years, until this lady wanted to take all three of us to live with her. My sisters were eight and I was seven when we went to live with her. I had lived with her for two years and during those two years, some days were great, and some were harsh. I remember when we had a birthday at our foster mom’s house and she went to go buy a piñata. She thought it already had candy in it. So she bought it, and when it was time to hit the piñata, we started to hit and it opened all the way, and there was no candy in it, but anyways, that was a funny memory to laugh at.
One Sunday morning, we decided to get baptized. When the priest baptized us, the water was freezing cold and we don’t know why. I also remember how me and my sisters used to feed the donkeys near the mountains when they pass by, and how we played on the monkey bar set with the playhouse. We had so much fun back then.
When I was nine years old, my foster mom told me to start packing. I asked her why and she didn’t tell me anything. I got into the car and it took us an hour to get to the destination. My foster mom had left my sisters in the house with the babysitter. When we got to the place, she drove into the gates. It looked like a cemetery, but it wasn’t. It was a group home. I went inside the building and they took my bags and showed me my room. Maryvale was the name of the group home.
I started crying. The only foster parent that I actually called mom out of all the other foster homes I have been to, left me there. The staff there in the group home tried to cheer me up, but they weren’t able to. I was going to miss how we used to travel. Like one time, we went to Mississippi for my grandparent’s birthday. And then the other time, we went to Las Vegas for Mother’s Day. And one time, we went to Disney on Ice. And I was going to miss my sisters and how we used to do each other’s hair for Sunday mass.
But then, I went on home visits to see my sisters and my foster mom. My foster mom’s family was really nice. They thought of me and my sisters as part of their family. A year later, they found my biological mom’s sister, Priscilla, and put my sisters to live with her. While my sisters were living my aunt, I was still in Maryvale. Then two years later, they took them out because my sister, Gabby, was getting stabbed by my aunt with a pocket knife. Every time, she would lie about something, or would act up. It made me sad because I would have to see my sister cry and scream.
In 2014, my sisters were not together anymore. We were all separated. My sister Gabby went to a lady’s house who, the year before, had adopted two little boys who were brothers. But then Gabby got kicked out a couple of months later. My sister Miriah went to live with me in Maryvale and we had a swell time until she got moved to another group home called Vista Del Mar in Pasadena. Maryvale was located in Rosemead.
In 2015, one of my sisters went to another group home, and the other one remained at Vista Del Mar. I had left Maryvale a week before Thanksgiving to go live at another group home called Hillsides. I have been there for at least three months. Now it is 2016. After I leave Hillsides, I am going to live with my grandpa in New Mexico, and then my sisters are going to live with me, and my grandpa, and we are going to start a new life.
And this is the end.