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Author and Performance Artist Lauretta Ali

Prologue from Survival of the Fittest

as in all twenty years
(previous to this one)
we are apart.
Each year with silent yearnings
and woe woven wishes,
will I drink your blood
like wine?

It has been said that if certain situations are traumatic enough, children can remember painful events as far back as infancy.  Is there any truth to that theory?
I don't know.  I can only tell you what I remember... The sheer energetic happiness of the terrible two's.  The joy of being Daddy's little girl.  The horror of being Daddy's little girl.
It seems so strange that today, midway through my life, I can remember the horror vividly, a permanent portrait in my mind.  I see a little girl whose wide mouth is open in a fixed, protracted wail, though no sound emits.
Deep inside my soul that scream still exists, searing, straining to give birth.  The closest release is weeping, daring not to lend voice to the scream.  Ever fearing where this release will take me: realizing that, unlike Dorothy, I will not wake up back at home in Kansas.
Instead my senses would return, finding me locked in a cage below the ocean floor, with no means of escape.

My experiences as a foster child in the 1950's have shaped and molded the very core of my being.  Certain characteristics I display even today are based solely on the events that occurred between the ages of three and eight years old. 

So, as Lenora Williams tells her story, she is telling mine.  Who would care about what happened to rock a little Black girl's world in 1954?  I mean, if I say to everyone everywhere, that the indignities a child sucked up in the system happened to Lauretta Ali, would that really be important to anyone?

No.  It wouldn't.  So maybe someone will listen to Lenora and put emphasis on a little girl with no where to run but into the abyss.  We just might realize that foster children truly need our protection.  That foster moms are moms also and sometimes children are best left to their care and attention.



Home | Articles and Interviews | Poetic Moments | Eulogy for a Fool--Perhaps My Father | Survival of the Fittest | Read The Reviews!

Learn about our children surviving the foster care system today!

Yusimil Herrera's path to destruction

Aging out of Foster On Their Own, a detail of American shame

Seeking solutions to improve the lives of foster children--No Fault of Their Own

Foster Child, one man's survival story!

The Orphan Train movement was the first documented foster care system in America!

Foster Youth Writing Project...we just have to hear their hearts!

Adoption and Foster Care Services for Families

Real Facts About the Foster Care System

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: Developmental Issues for Young Children in Foster Care

Aging out of Foster Care

The Childrens Aid Society--Aging Out of Foster Care

Execution Is Not the Answer to Failures of State's Foster Care System

Foster Care Case ends in Disaster

Lidia's story: A troubled life in foster care

When things seem difficult, and life uphill,
Don't look too far ahead, keep plodding on,
And inch by inch, the road will shorten, till
The roughest patches will be past and gone,
And you'll look back surprised and cheered to find
That you have left so many miles behind,
And very soon the tedious climb will stop,
And you will stand triumphant at the top!
                                                            Author Unknown