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The Happy Side of the Foster Care System

A thing that I rarely talk about is that I spent time in the foster care system when I was younger. My stepfather at the time was a cruel and awful man so I could no longer live in the house with him. I also couldn’t go live with my dad because I had been adopted by my stepfather (long, long story and it never should have happened). I knew I wanted to live with my dad eventually but there was some legal wrangling that had to be done first. During that time, I went to live with my foster parents, Danna and Phil.

Let’s pause a minute. Why am I even telling this story? Well, I hear so many horror stories about the foster system and very few positive ones. I have a very positive story so I wanted to share MY experience. I have two reasons for this: 1) If someone you know is in a bad situation, don’t put off reporting it because you are afraid of “the system” 2) Think about opening your home to fosters if you have the time and space to do so. You could change a kid’s life forever.

Ok, back to my story.

I went to live with Phil & Danna when I was in 7th or 8th grade. Prime teen angst years. They took me in and made me a part of the family. I had three older foster sisters, Mechelle, Melisa and Roxanne. I also had two cutie patootie nieces, Felicia and Mikela. They taught me to do my hair, wear makeup and got me into contacts instead of my bottle thick glasses. More than anything, though, they gave me a safe place to be a kid…something I hadn’t had in a long time.

After I moved in with my dad, I continued to go over to my foster parent’s house most afternoons after school. Me moving didn’t mean that they washed their hands of me. They were by my side through high school and beyond.

Last week, I went back to visit my family in Alabama. I went to see my mom and my dad like most people do when they go home. I also went to visit my foster family. I stayed with my sister, Melisa and went to my niece Mikela’s husband’s birthday party.

Basically my foster family didn’t replace my family they just added to it. They took me in when I needed them but kept on supporting me every day since then. I am one of the family and always will be and I can’t thank them enough for that. It meant so much for me way back when and still means so much for me today.

So next time you hear something about the “terrible foster system” remember that isn’t always the case. Real people can make real changes in the lives of a kid in need.

The Happy Side of the Foster Care System, My Story

Dana B

Thursday 16th of February 2017

Wow! I must have missed this post before. You were very lucky to have found such good people at the time you needed them the most. They in turn are so lucky to have you in their lives as well! Thanks for sharing!

Melissa Pate

Saturday 2nd of April 2016 will always be my sis. You are a brilliant and beautiful woman. You didn't allow a system to discourage you. You continue to press forward after all these years with a positive attitude and humble heart. Christian love is what mom and dad provided to us all. So grateful for them making a difference in so many lives. I see you paying it forward in your everyday life. Always be humble and kind. Your home is in Alabama...never forget that. With love, Melisa

Merry Kuchle

Saturday 2nd of April 2016

You made me cry. Love you!

Delisa Brown

Friday 1st of April 2016

Merry, Thank for sharing your very personal story! While I vaguely remember you were in foster care for a short time I never knew which family or any of the details. As a school Counselor I sometimes had to make that very difficult call to social services about a child. We also helped love and support the child who was trying to adjust to a new foster family and sometimes school and friends, Thank you for reminding all of us that the foster system does many good things for children and teens AND the importance of advocating and reporting anything suspicious. Our children are counting on all of us! ❤️ So glad you found a great bonus family in addition to your biological family!! Lots of love to go around!?


Friday 1st of April 2016

Thanks for sharing. I never knew your story. I never asked and you never told because, in the grand scheme of things, it really didn't matter where you came from, only that you came. In case I haven't told you lately, you were a great friend growing up! And for the record, I wish you had kept that high school bf that I went out with not knowing y'all were a couple! Would have saved me a ton of grief! LOL and LYLAS! (<-----see my 90's throwback!)

Merry Kuchle

Friday 1st of April 2016

Bahahahaha! You saved me!

sisters from another mister

Friday 1st of April 2016

I have so much love for you ... And this.

Merry Kuchle

Friday 1st of April 2016

Right back at you, lady! Mwah!