Noel Anaya aged out of the foster care system this year and this is how he vocalized his “breakup”.
Youth Radio and Noel Anaya gave listeners a rare and special glimpse into the world of foster care — more specifically, a glimpse into what happens when people age out of the system and realize they are about to face the real world alone.
For Anaya, life in foster care was anything but perfect. Sure, he was given a chance to live and go to school, but he was separated from his siblings and never got to have a family that was all his own. On the podcast, he briefly recollects of his time as a foster child while going to a final court hearing about his time in the system and his exit. In the state of California, foster children age out of the system at 21. During the hearing, Judge Shawna Schwarz asked Ayana if he had any feedback after being in the system and Ayana came prepared with this letter:
“To whom it may concern. This is the year that I divorce you, your grey hands can no longer hurt me, your grey hands can never overpower me, your grey hands can never tell me that you love me because it’s too late. Your grey hands just taught me how to survive in a world. We never learned how to love ourselves unconditionally. I’ve been with multiple foster families, I’ve been with multiple shelters. How does a person like me not end up with a family. At 21 you happily kick us off to the curb and say good luck I wish you well, I wish you the best but don’t come back because we can’t take you in. I’ve seen too many of my people give up on the educational system. I hope that you hear my words. And I hope that you listen to my signal of distress. I thank you for giving me closure. Thank you.”
And with those words, Anaya left the foster care system hoping to continue his life as a student.
You can read the full transcription of the podcast here.