My family expanded further when I was in fourth grade. My mom brought a boy home from work, and he became my foster-brother. He was older than me by several years, and nothing like the people I knew. His previous foster situation had fallen apart because his foster parents felt they could no longer control him. He was under the impression that he was something of a gang banger, and a bad ass. In reality he was an insecure teenager, screaming for attention.
My brother’s biological father had died in one of the wars, so he was raised by his biological mother. He and his younger sister had been removed from their family home after their mother refused to give up her druggie boyfriend that abused both the kids. He had bounced from foster home to foster home, not really sticking anywhere for long, until he came into my family.
When he first arrived, he could barely sit through a meal. He would shovel his food down as fast as he could and leave the table as soon as he was finished. He wasn’t used to being able to get his fill, and he had no clue how families acted around the dinner table. He was very fortunate to have a caring case worker who took him to breakfast once a week, and helped him get the help he needed. When things got tense in our family his case worker could always calm him down and help work things out.
My foster-brother and my older brother were either at each other’s throats or thick as thieves. They shared a bedroom, so when they didn’t get along it tended to be loud and drawn out since neither of them really had their own space. One night I went into the back yard to get away from their arguing, and was promptly knocked out. My foster-brother had gotten upset, and threw a rock through the window. He didn’t see me outside sitting on my Fisher Price picnic table. Things were pretty bad between my brothers before my older brother ran away for good, and they had long since stopped getting along.
Once my older brother left, things calmed down a lot. My foster-brother had his moments of teenage angst, and I can’t imagine how he felt being raised by strangers. We ended up getting along pretty well, and he was a pretty good older brother. He would sometimes give me a ride to school in his cool older brother car, or let me and his girlfriend hang out. He dated the same girl throughout high school, and she was very sweet in an older sister type of way. I loved getting to go to the drive-in with them, even though I was just a decoy to make their outing look innocent. I still got to hang out late and see a movie, even if my brother and his girlfriend were making out in the back seat most of the time.
Even though my foster-brother and I got along, he was still a teenager, and he made stupid decisions. One day he decided to skip school with some of his friends, and they ended up robbing a gas station near their school. They were caught as soon as they went back to campus and arrested. My brother went to jail and was kicked out of high school. Things were never the same between him and my parents after that. When he got out of jail he went to a foster center, basically a limbo place for foster kids. He had to stay in their facility for a few weeks, and then he finally came back to our home.
Things were very different when my brother came back from jail. My parents held him in a new light, and his attitude had taken a turn for the worse.
© I Am Not Defined, 2012.
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