Second Hand Kids? April 26, 2011
Dear Michigan Senator Bruce Caswell,
Second-hand clothes? Is that the best you can offer? If you’re going to insult kids who’ve been removed from their family of origin, insult us! Call us names. Tell us our hair looks like a rat nest and we look like something the cat dragged in. Threaten to beat us to a pulp. Leave us alone for days at a time. Scare us with your driving. Tell us we have to be perfect or no one will love us. But just making us wear second-hand clothes is a really lame attempt at abuse. We can handle it. Make us wear a giant F on our chest for “FOSTER”. Or maybe a U for “UNWANTED”.
How much do you spend on your own clothes in a year? Do the other senators laugh at you because you’re wearing your teenage brother’s ugly gym socks? They laughed at me when I was in 4th grade for just that reason. Do you ever have to wear the same shirt three days in a row because there’s no laundry detergent at home? Did you sign up for 6th grade orchestra but decide to quit because you don’t have a solid black skirt, a solid white blouse and a solid black shoes? I know two kids who did.
Here’s a hint, Sir. If the state is only giving families $79 a year to spend on clothing for a foster child, you probably don’t need to worry that the parents are being too extravagant. In fact, if they can afford it, they’re probably supplementing the clothing allowance, especially if the child is still growing.
Senator, what we need in our lives is a champion. We need someone who thinks we’re the best, who tells us we’re pretty, who helps us find that solid black skirt so we can stay in orchestra and attend performances. We need adults who treat us better than our parents did. We don’t need you and we don’t need second-hand bras.
Go to the thrift store, Senator. Buy a second hand set of clothes, including underwear and shoes. And let us all watch as the other senators laugh at how nothing fits right, the tie is too wide or too narrow or too stained, and your socks don’t match. We are not even going to talk about the prospect of a 12-year-old buying a used training bra at Salvation Army.
Cassie and Many Other First Class Kids