Friday, February 5, 2016

It Sucks Being a Foster Child....

Dear Teachers of the World:
It's not OK to print out random baby pictures on the Internet and pass them off as students in your class.
If a student does not have a baby picture, for whatever reason, you can either:

a. Not do the project at all.

b. Talk to the student and come up with a mutually agreed-upon solution.

c. Talk to the parents, if the child is in...say...Pre-K and see what they would like.
I went to Little Princess' open house tonight at her preschool. I wrote a few days ago about how I hate when teachers ask for baby pictures of foster children. DCFS does not even have a picture of Little Princess before she was removed from her mom. Her mom doesn't have one, either - I asked. I told the teachers this and they assured me that they "knew what to do". Bad me for not asking what their work-around was.
For the last week, she's been convinced that her teachers have a baby picture of her and - for the last week - I've been telling her that she must be misunderstanding...that none exist and I'm so, so sorry, baby girl. 
So tonight, at Open House, there on the wall for everyone to see, is a "baby picture of Little Princess". It's a random picture from the Internet of a white baby (Little Princess is Hispanic). The baby in the picture is a cute baby, but she's not Little Princess...not even remotely. 
My Little Princess is beautiful and smart and clever. She's feisty and spunky and full of character. She's amazing and cuddly and sweet. She says "I love you" every chance she gets and always has "kissees" for me and her Foster Dad. She sings in the middle of the night and plays her bongos with amazing rhythm early in the morning . She makes up songs when she can't remember lyrics or tunes. Her artwork defies categorization. 
When she "gets bigger", she wants to work at McDonald's while giving people shots in the arm so "they'll feel good". She loves chicken nuggets and tater tots and hates tuna noodle casserole and anything with cheese in it...except pizza or lasagne or mac & cheese. 
She's amazing and wonderful and my heart broke when I saw that her preschool teachers downloaded some random picture and passed it off as her...and she's convinced that it's her in that picture. She's convinced that the white baby with perfect eyes (Little Princess has an eye problem) is her. 
And that's not ok: they placed more importance on a wall of uniform timeline projects using some stupid, silly random picture that is someone else's baby so that my Little Princess could have a project on the wall that looked like everyone else's. They discounted the sweet, wonderful, little five-year-old with the olive skin and the purple glasses that's correcting her lazy eye that was standing directly in front of them.
And that's not ok. 
I'm sorry, but my heart feels shattered.