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🌮 Roel Williams. Surviving foster care.

Rad Dad, hosted by Kirill Zubovsky podcast.

Roel is a friend who spent most of his childhood in foster care. Before talking to him, I was completely unaware of kids in these situations, and wanted to share to make sure that others get a chance to learn something new. By the way, even the foster mom he loves and adores the most, said that some of the things said in the podcast she was totally unaware of. Yearning to fit in, and not wanting to worry his mom, Roel hasn't shared with her all these years.

content warning: the story involves some tragic childhood experiences.

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hello there of the listeners and welcome to the show. One of the advantages of having a podcast has been able to share stories. And sometimes you hear a story that you just know this is one of them. And if you're looking for something to be thankful for this holiday season, this will certainly put you on the right track. Now, imagine being a six year old boy who just lost his mom to cancer and ended up in foster Kids. Where are your life? Take meet my friend Royal. Here's his story.

0:36

Um, I want to say my journey kind of again when my mom did to sit my little sister and I down, you know, to give that little suit that really serious talk about you know what, you which he had and that was cancer, you know, like sat us down, told us that she wasn't gonna be there for a long time and that we really needed to take care of each other. And I don't know, it was kind of weird just as a kid hearing that because you're kind of usedto video games and doing your homework and doing this and then when you're gonna be a be able to go outside and play, not the message of, you know, your parents that should be there for a really long time is gonna pass away pretty soon. Oh, yes. So I think that's when it really began. Because that's kind of when my mind really switched.

I definitely have to grow up a little bastard, which is why I'm so immature. Now, how long will you she passed away and David for my seventh birthday. So six.

1:37

And you have no idea it was coming like Maman from lt to just not there within this Benham A

1:44

month. Yeah, and yeah, I came out of nowhere. She looks super healthy. She was always active going around. Obviously, you could have got done, but she just She really said it was really, really painful. And her hair was, like, bone out. And she was, like, just in pain. She went from like, Yeah, she looked way better before she started doing that. The chemo. Then after Hannah.

2:5

So what does a six year old kid D'oh! And his mom just disappears?

2:10

I don't know. I don't really know what I did. Do

2:13

you remember what was just dead? Dead. Still around for a while?

2:17

No, he was not. It was just the family salmon Alina, that we're kind of taking care of us. And that's the That's the family members that took care of us when we came here from the Philippines. So they just kind of continue to take care of me after she passed away. Um, yeah, I don't know what I did. Really. I just gonna try to take care of my little my little sister a little bit more. Just be more connected with her. That's all I could do. And but my behavior definitely got a lot of, like just definitely came out of control, you know? Became like a bad kid.

You know, I don't want to go to school. And I did go to school, let us rebuild it, acted at all I'm and that spilled over to the home life. And unlike you, after, like about, I think maybe like a year and 1/2 they couldn't put up with it anymore. That's when I decided to like moving in foster care. My little sister and I in foster care.

3:8

Oh, you mean the family that was taking care of you just couldn't handle. Do they have other

3:12

kids? They had kids, but they're grown. They're like, all in their thirties and stuff like that. They're all good and established. So we were never like in her fifties, huh? So I guess that was, too. They have

3:24

noticed, like we're too old to take care of you.

3:27

I shouldn't have been acting out, but then I am six years old and I don't think they should have made that drastic decision that kind of throws into the system when they probably should have taken consideration, that this kid's parents, this kid's mom and only parent did just die.

3:43

It's like the only life you know just disappeared and you're seven, and you expected to somehow deal with it, right?

3:49

And they weren't really healthy, either. You know that sense of like kinda like work through there, Just like the way I found out she died is like, I got in trouble that day at school and I got sent home and I got a spanking. I got a woman, you know, and I was like, you know, I was crying, just got spanked in the but then, like next thing you know, like right after it's all done. That's when I get the news. Oh, yeah, by the way,

Like your mom passed away today and I'm just like, I can't even cry about it because I just got them crying about spanking, you know? So, like, I don't know how to react to it emotionally. I kind of sat there like and shock, like I can't even cry anymore, you know, because I already just cried about getting whipped with a belt, you know? So it's just like it was weird. I just sat there like it. I didn't know what to do. I kind of just staring like

4:36

So what happens to a kid when you end up in the system?

4:40

So my first experience imposter, this is how I got put into foster care. Like Sam. Like the father. They were just like, we can't handle you anymore. And I'm like, Okay, and I just I just remember I'm telling me to get into the car, and I was like, All right, so I got into the car and then he just drove the like across the west, got a bridge and, like a toe like like your central district and stuff like that on Beacon Hill. And I was like, We're doing and we go to the second building and let me go up the elevator and I we like, get out of elevator just like a bunch of empty seats.

And then, like, there's this lady at the glass window and he just, like, ghosted down. So I like, Sit down and you go He goes up to the glass window and he just has something. I don't know what's going on. I don't know what happened, but he says something, and then he looks at me, and then the lady looks at me and I look at them and, yeah, he just walks. He just walked back into elevator. It's like left.

So I just waited there and I was there for, like, seven hours and, like fell asleep, crying or whatever. And I'm like, I remember about like, seven hours later, somebody like wakes me up and it's like this lady and her name is Sherry. Just wake me up and I was like, you know, like I don't know what's going on. She's like, I'm your new I'm your new foster mom. You know, it was just like this whole family just walked in those forests.

Michael, Mom, Sherry And yet are just like your new foster family. What was going on? You know, So I just went with them, and then you just start living a life with this new family. You know, like what they do, you start doing, you start trying, like, adapt to the whole environment. Starts on the deal, you know? I mean,

like, it's it's weird, you know, you just have the mold into this new being that's been established for so long, you know, like this whole family, like, you know, who knows? Like, how long has been going down in generations and stuff like that in traditions? You know, you just you make your way in there, you know?

6:45

So it sounds like they've already had everything pre arranged, right? Just transition was very smooth. Like your family. A new family was literally already waiting there. Yeah,

6:55

so that was nice, but they were awesome. And, like, I'm still in contact with all of them that's still in my family, and we still go out and stuff like that. We just took sherry out Our mom for her birthday, like, a couple months ago. Um,

7:7

they were very nice. How come he didn't end up

7:10

staying with them? Yeah, because I was still a mad Kidman. Like, I just told my first boss room. I still didn't know and like, you can show somebody all the love you can in the whole world. But if they're not tryingto denying that, like time of their life, they're trying to heal or do better, you know, then they're not going to, you know, you can't force somebody to do something, so I mean, I got the love, they supported me,

but it was me, you know? I mean, like, I just wasn't ready to accept the love that they were giving me. You know, I was still, like, hurt by everything, you know. So I was still mad and I still lashing out, You know, I'm still getting in trouble at school. There's one thing that, like, treat your foster parents good.

But if you're still lashing out in school, they still have to deal with that. You know, they still have to go to the school and explain everything and then they have to be that person. You know, the superior that has to ground them. And then that relationship gets, you know, it's just like I just was not ready for the love, but they did. They definitely showed me love, and that's why we're still in contact till this day. And that's when I was, like, nine, and I'm 27 now.

And school was just a whole another challenge in itself, you know, because at the deep depths of it, you know, like I want to do good. I want to be successful. I want to get those A's, you know, And I know I can put in the effort, but it's being in school and being in foster care. It's just like two different challenge, you know, like one is a challenge already. The other already is a challenge, and then together, just really like to challenge is put together because,

like here, you are trying to do good in school China, like like when you study, you know you're you're building a foundation for your mind. You don't mean to just gain to gain this knowledge one night and just like, you know, taking this knowledge and apply it. And so that takes time, you know? And when you're a foster care, you never know how long I'm gonna be in that home. You never know. So you could You could literally have the mindset of, like, committing and wanted to study and do what you gotta do for the school, you know?

And then, like, out of nowhere for no reason, you could just be operated in, like, two months. So like that. And like, a lot of times when that happened to me, a lot of my credits were lost. All those classes that I did, we're just for no reason. I would go to the next school, and I'd tried again. You know, I try to,

like, be a good student, try to be a good foster kid. You know, try to you know, howto be good representation for what I am, and I like I get moved again. And then there could be situations where I just don't given crap anymore. You know? I don't want to try. I tried so much, I'm done, you know, like I've tried so much I'm gonna tutors have done would have to do. Went to night classes, stuff like that.

And like so I'm doing all that word and I just Yes, so I did all that work. So I guess that appointment I just don't care. And that happens to be the foster home or the school that I'm in super, super, super long time, which has, like a big impact on the outcome. So you know, So it's just it's crazy. It's just it's just this game that you play of, like, Do I want to commit to this right now or do I not? Is it worth it? You know, I mean,

is it not worth it? Because, like I said, you could try and the system could kind of screw you over, or it could be good, but you're still reading that mindset of the system screwing you over. So where you don't want to try anymore. So you end up screwing yourself over and it becomes this vicious cycle. Like what? What should I do in the next? You know, time has passed, you know? So you have school was just always that thing for me, man. It was never I never really trying to make too many friends that I would always be uprooted,

you know, and what I did. But you know what? I did make friends. Eventually I was uprooted or, you know, like having contact with people from across the state when your foster parents said you're not a lot of itself on. I know some foster parents saying I don't have a cell phone, you know,

10:44

also for you, for your parents at the time. Like, how was it? Could you going out on the Internet and meet other foster kids and, like, talk about the troubles

10:52

he didn't want Thio. Really? Yeah, at that time, when you're that young, you're ashamed of being a kid. You are because you have all these, kid, you're in school, You're a middle school, you're in high school. You know, like nobody's ashamed to say anything about their families and stuff, you know, thinks they have kids like going on snow snowmobiling like trips with their parents going on the yacht. This now you know, and it's it's like here you have,

you know, like and then like when I come back from Christmas and I have all this gear in these video games and then like you just you as a foster kid comes back with, like nothing, you know, has the same clothes for, like, years on. You can't say like, Oh, yeah, hung out with my mom and dad this and went somewhere like your mom and dad are dead, you know?

11:32

So it's like

11:33

it's just nothing to be proud of. You know, like I've always known that even the foster kids, when I lived with in some group homes, nobody would ever know that we were even living in a group home after, like, it would just take a while. We're like somebody to kind of hang out this and and see that we all feel like you guys live together, you know, and that's when they ask more questions. And then we, you know, yeah, we live in the same group reminiscent of like, what is that? But that's somebody that really wants to kind of get to know a lot of people. Look,

att, foster kids in a negative light. You know, they think like we're thieves. Every steel or it is all just here to, like, wreak havoc on stuff, you know, Isn't high school like it was truth like once the kids found out the group home that the kids would come from, you know where I lived. Like whenever there's a new kid and they would find out from the group formed, it was just It was already, like, negative rumors going around about how that person was gonna be so, yeah, you don't really want to tell anybody that you were a prosecutor back then,

huh? Now I'm proud of because I I'm out of it. But not even not only that's just like I just know speaking about it is gonna help more people out. A lot of people, especially the ones I still don't want to talk about it was like, I'll just I'll talk about

12:40

it. It's only that I actually tried to put you in a good school, you know? So you get a good education, like in a good neighborhood. But the downside of that is like if you're poor and you have nothing and you have no relatives, whatever and you go to that good school where everything is lovey dovey actually puts more pressure on you in some ways. Rave

12:58

Come always an outsider. You know, people always Everybody knows everybody. You know, this is like me in, and I start asking questions and just like you doing here, Like, are you here, like on a school voucher? Like, are you here? Like, you know, like, yeah. Yeah. So it was always just one of those things.

I'm what? School. He was always so up in here about things. But I definitely felt like school's kind of pointless, you know, Like, they really teach me anything. That anything I really took away from school was in high school. And it's like a psychology class for those just really interesting. You know, Avery, Uh, the human psyche. That's cool. But other than that, everything else

13:36

you have, you had just the best families kind of taking care of you. And because you were not in the rights, they had to transition or other families. Like where you wanted to basically leave them the day you got there.

13:47

Oh, no. Like, I had such terror. Like I had a couple of good people, and I had, like, a lot of terrible people My second

13:54

foster home company. How many foster homes have you gone

13:57

through? Probably over, like 15. Well, yeah, like foster homes, group homes, shelters and

14:4

stuff like that. So it's more than once a year. In some cases.

14:8

Yeah. Um, No. So my second foster home, this was the crazy one. This was after leaving that nice foster family where I'm like, I'm not ready. And then, you know, so we got the light transition. Um, so the second boss room, I get a tour. Right? Get there. It's a nice little house in a central district of CEO. And,

Yeah, I get there, the reverend. So his name is Reverend Guy, and he was a reverend. I tutored, you know? So, like a reverend, like, prominent in the church, This guy. So he gives a tour of the house, you know, social workers. All right,

Cool. You know, like, he's introducing me to all the kids. Everything's fine. You know, case workers like ira. Well, does everything look good? I'm like, yeah, and they're like, nice to meet you. Thanks for the tour. You know, I'll be checking back with you guys here momentarily involved blah.

All right, I'm gonna go now. Everything's cool, everything's cool. And so the so the social worker leaves in a moment. She leaves, Reverend Guy, the Reverend literally walks it to me and goes, All right, you have to fight that kid to stay here and I go. What? And he was You heard me. You have to fight that kid to stay here. So he has, like, two older foster kids kind of be our trainers,

you know, like our coaches, you know, And so one for each kid. He takes us downstairs, and he makes me and this kid this kid and I fight like a bloody bowl for me to, like, live there, like, literally like fish. There's, like, blood everywhere. Like, these guys are like our coaches. He's just sitting there chilling,

watching the whole thing. And he's watching us to psych fight each other till we're, like, literally bleeding. The priest guy. Yeah, the Reverend from a church that we used to go drive through in every for an hour, every single, like, almost every single day. And stay there for, like, five hours a day. That that dude Yeah. So he would just sit there and he just sat there and watched that. So I end up being the kids,

but because I'm just mad, mad You know, I'm a mad kid. I'm like, I don't know what's going on. I'm scared, you know? So, like, I'm beating him up, and I'm like, but I didn't take it to super for me. And I was like, I don't know, I helped him up. And then the next morning,

16:11

you, like, woke me up, and he was like, a I

16:13

made you some cinnamon toast. And I was like,

16:15

Thanks for the

16:16

kid. Other. Every kid? Yeah. Said a kid. Maybe toes. But then I was like, I'm not mad at the kids, you know? So him and I became friends. What is this thing going? What's going on here? And then, like the whole time and at home, I just found too many different discrepancies and stuff like that. There was like this one time. We're like the older kid.

He was like 9 18 are 17. He would have been out of the house. 17. He got mad at me for some reason. I know what it was, but he beat. He beat me up in the Reverend's room. He was So the robbery was sitting on his bed eating chicken and the kid beat me to a bloody public. I was literally laying in my pool blood, like, bubbling up blood because I couldn't move, you know? I mean, I was like, Lincoln blood. I was like,

you know, like, the rev. And it's like, looks down and he goes, you just better clean that up, you know? And that's all he does. And I'm literally, like, laying there in blood. And I was like, an African I couldn't move for the kids beat me up so bad, and he just sat there and just, like, did nothing.

You know, he kind of looked at me, looked down, like, kind of smart. And I kept getting his chicken and kept watching Judge Judy or something. So yeah, and I was at home like a bunch of different things like that happened in at home, like many, many different times. Um, so, yeah, I just ended up having

17:24

to get out of that one man. Like, how long did you stay?

17:27

I think I was, like, six months. I don't know exactly how I was able to get myself out of that home. I think I already ran away or something. That's how I used to do in the holes were really bad. And, like I would tell the caseworker and they wouldn't do anything, I would just run away because I didn't feel safe in the home. You know, if I don't feel safe in our homes and stuff like that is happening, I'm gonna run away from home. You know, like,

17:50

you know, the, uh we'll talk about this. But the irony of this that the Reverend's getting tax free paycheck from his church and then goes home and beats up little kids, you know, emotionally and physically. The other kids, right? You said you mentioned two caseworkers. This was going on. And what's the adults reaction like, Do they know? Do they suspect you? They don't care. You know what was going on there? Like if if young kid comes and says it's like my step Dad is just like running. If fight club in his basement like, wouldn't you at least listen, You know what was going on there?

18:26

I know, I did mention it. I just It is within acted upon, you know, and I don't know if it's because there's so many other stories that go to this. You know the social worker caseworker that are false or, you know, sometimes kids just want to really be back with your parents so they make up stories or just someone of being at home. So they make up stories. So maybe that's why, but yeah, I don't I don't know. That's that's why I don't really have a lot of faith in the system. And that's why I do as much as I can when I can tow, like, try to get it back and make it better, you know,

because, like, I see, I saw things like that were stuff like that is happening and people are saying something about and nothing is happening. And I'm staying here as a kid going This is not right, you know? And I don't know. I don't even understand how, as a kid, I was able to dislike processes like Wait, I don't This is not right. Like I don't even care because adults saying it, you know, like when most kids that age would be like it's an adult, you know what they say goes. I was just like, No, this doesn't seem right. You know so

19:31

well. We're here just a message to the kids. Adults overrate it, and I think you should really You should obviously like, takes people advice and listen to it. But I think adults should also earn the advice, the ability to give advice very true, right, Because otherwise you end up with kids. We just think, well, adults get to do whatever adults say, and then this happens, right,

19:59

and that process gets repeated. You know, they think I'm an adult now that I can do whatever I want, because I am indulging his position that whatever I do is correct. And it's not, you know, and sometimes even a kid can see that. So, yeah, with that situation, I don't really know what happened, but I don't know. I think everything happens for a reason. I feel like that was just one experience that I had to have in order to kind of keep me going on my journey, you know, for like, the next experiences.

20:28

So is there anything kids and the situation can do? Knowing what you know now, right, what kids do for stuck in these terrible foster homes to get out other than run away and go back casework Eric. Is there anything?

20:42

My number one piece of advice for that situation. Produce kids out there experiencing just things like that in their homes where they should feel safe is really Just speak up, you know, like use your voice and don't. And don't ever think that just because you're at a certain age that your voice means nothing, because your voice it does at all ages. You know, I just. But it's up for you to speak. No one can really read your mind. You know we try, but at the end of the day, we can't. So you definitely have to speak up. And if you're only if you're looking for a spot that's just save, you, don't feel safe at home.

There's always like centers at schools at your high schools, and there's always gonna be like a Y M C A. Like in your town they can go to That's gonna have, like, independent living program that can hook you up with case managers. I could help you if you ever need any resource is, especially if you're a foster kid. It's always mention it to your social worker as well,

21:36

and we mentioned this we talked about this before with you. But when the caseworkers come to the house, they can't always spot the trouble, right? Because the foster parents who run this terrible homes actually make huge efforts to make everything appeal good. Like the kids would wear clean shirts and ties and smile because they're basically told that they'll get beaten if they don't Exactly. Is there anything on the foster? I mean on the caseworker side that they can look for. That's like a hidden indicator that there's trouble in the house.

22:10

In that situation, I would just honestly use my intuition and, like, just use my skills and experience Andi trying to connect with any other kid in the house, you know, kind of seeing how that kid's doing and really just following your gut cause you know, kids don't want to get in trouble, so obviously they might be something might be held over their head to not say anything, But you can tell from eyes, you know, you can tell everything from eyes and whatnot. So I would just say, Really, if you send something, just do a little more investigation. There's oftentimes that case caseworkers, case managers like a really big Pollo work in her desk.

And it's true they do. Um, but if you send something, you should definitely follow that. That feeling, because a lot of times there's something there. You know that I've seen it from this experience.

22:58

Let's talk about the complexities of the system a little bit because you told me you had a foster home. That was really good to you, right? The last one I asked him. And then at some point, though, they couldn't. Because financially they couldn't afford to keep it because they were older folks and the government would pull pull out the funding at certain age. And you tell that story a little bit how it basically pushes you out even a good home where you want to stay and they want to keep your like, They're still these things that, you know, basically throw you back in the system.

23:29

Yeah, so that was a year. That was That was a situation, because this was here. Like this was after the home that I just talked about with the reverend, so I'm definitely really mad, you know? So I get to this home into coma and then I'm transported all the way that the comet from Seattle. So I don't know anybody into coma. So I get to the summit to coma. It's the Hankins. So it's Georgia Hankins and Freddie Hankins. Like this older couple of, like, 76. Um, it was really nice,

you know, There were strict there from North Carolina and South Carolina, so they just have that Southern hospitality, but they're, like, strict on about their business and whatnot, but yeah, he just demanded my respect, you know, like it wasn't not like, but not in the sense of, like, do you need to give me the respect? You know, it was just how they held themselves, you know,

and how they respected themselves. And after a second, I just began to respect them just like that, too. And I just didn't want to disrespect him. Could I Just I loved them that much, and I saw that they loved me and they didn't show affection in that sense. Like giving me hugs and kisses all the time, you know, But, like, I would always see, like, 203 100 bucks in cash a month just to go get some new shoes or get some new clothes at the mall even though I was at a uniform school, you know, and they would do that and it would buy me clothes.

And my mom, they would take us on trips and stuff like that. They would give us cell phones when we went out so that we're always in contact. And I'm not really, like, experienced up. You know, I've never really experienced that to the extent you know, like I experienced love. But like, this one was like a sense of like it was strict, but it was you could still there still freedom there, you know? So I really started clicking with this family, you know, like my grades went from like,

absent school toe like a plus is my worst subject at school, which is math. I'd like 104% for like, the whole year, like there was a situation where, like, the teacher was writing out a math problem on the board, and I kind of called him out on a lt's like Syria. Actually, you know, you can't go up there real quick, and I erased Barnes and I. I like that the whole thing over again. And yeah, he's like, Yeah,

royal. Sit down. That's thank you. And like, after class, when everyone left, he was like, Welcome news. Can you stay here for a second? Like, Yeah, So you like water to me? He goes, I'm glad that, you know, there's this mapping really well, you know, But don't ever call me out in class like that again.

25:49

I don't like in seventh grade in middle school. You know

25:53

what I'm like? I don't know. Yes, I got that good in math, you know? And I'm like, this is my worst subject in my whole life and have 100 for, you know, like my foster dad used to teach me, like trigonometry and stuff like that. I would just like you have this couch and you just sit there and tell me like stories about Vietnam, and he would just randomly start teaching me. Calcalist bought me like a graphing, a graphing book, and I saw He's like, get your get your notebook. I'll just stay here and do a bunch of,

like, random problems. And yes, it was really fun. And yes, I just had this great experience with them, everything was good. And then after a while, the agency started calling the foster parents. You know, they started asking me Hey, what you gonna do? I'm gonna Doctor. Well, you know what I'm gonna adopt. Um,

and we decided we can't adopt them because we need money. Because we're 76 can go back to work. You know, you're like, will if you can adopt them, we're going to take him out of your home. Because foster parents foster care usually just temporarily, You know, if he's been here for a really long time, and you guys need to adopt them, you know? So they were kinda They had a couple options. So, like a dog meat, which they wanted to do, but they would get zero money, and so they would probably lose the house. They lose everything they worked. Or

27:2

what are we gonna do? Right. So foster parents get paid to holster in the house.

27:7

Do they get paid depending on it? Just It really depends if the kids like a good kid. So to say you don't you get to money, but not that much. But if a kid is like my medication, they've had issues in the past, things like that. They're considered a high risk piras youth. So you get a little bit more money for that. It's Ah yes. So they wouldn't get all their funding cut. You know, they'd have to go back to work just to keep me there and or they would have to say, I can't do that and let me go. So after, like, a couple of months of fighting and fighting and fighting,

they just stay literally had to, like, let me go because like the agency gave him no option to do that. It's just sad, because here you finally have a good situation. We're like the kid has, like a total 1 80 Everything's going good, everything's great. You're doing exactly what you need to do. You're doing exactly what the school is telling you to do it. You're doing exactly what your parents tell you to do. You're doing exactly what society tells you to do, and you're like, Sorry, that's wrong. All those rights

28:6

make a wrong. So the system Basically, if you stay in the system for 15 years and you switch homes every year, somebody somewhere it gets paid every year, and you you could be in the system. That's fine. But if you just find one periods that are actually good, then you can't

28:21

stay with them exactly unless they adopt you in the state. And the state has nothing to do with them giving them money to support you. They just take you in on extra person that, you know, like they just happen to fall in love with those. You know, that year that the kid was there, you know what they were prosecuting. And it's like by the time they want to be adopted to state kind of goes All right, that's kind of responsibility. You're

28:44

good. Yeah, I guess they have heart problems, right? Like, How do you mean? In your case, it would have worked out really well. But how do you stop the river? And from claiming that his kids really want to live with him and then getting this forever paycheck. So certainly no easy solutions, but it's just like it feels like, you know, if you can just maximize the positive out outcomes like yours, it would already help a bunch of kids and take him out of the system. even if the state has to pay for it for the next 20 years. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a lot of money to keep kids happy and off the street. And

29:18

it's not because it's really not two. And if you think about it, you have to invest in your society. You know, you gotta quit thinking about what's in front of you so much, you know, like you gotta, like, starts trying to invest in like these foster kids. There is an investment, you know? It's like it's they're kids. Like, I know it's not specifically your kid, but they are kids that are gonna be part of society that's gonna be working or not working. They're gonna be in homes or not in homes. They're gonna be like I said in a house or on your streets,

you know? I mean, so it's just like you would think that you would, you know, you have a a really, really big like hand and how things turn out. So I would I would just think that they would want to make it a little better. Um, but yeah, yeah, I don't know. There's like a lot of things. I go like that in the system, like a lot of things. Like like a lot of paradoxes, like it's just it's really weird and confusing,

you know? But I feel like as time progresses and I've already seen it, you know, like, it's gonna improve. And it's already had already has been improving, you know, like definitely since people have started, use your voice. And, you know, technology has advanced so much, you can get more things out there. Things were getting better, huh?

30:33

Well, let's talk about this. You mentioned living in the street, right? So you said when you were 18 the caseworker basically came in the hand of you your file and said, Now you're on your own. Uh, what was that kind of the way in describing?

30:48

Yeah, that was weird.

30:50

In another one of those 1,000,000,000 things that you had to go through where they just once again just drop you in the deep hole and expect you figure

30:58

it out. Yeah, because this was before we passed E f c, which is extended, boss Occur, which is Theobald ity to allow foster kid to stay in foster care until 21 that's supposed to just being kicked out at 18. Um, so, yeah, that was before that. That was in effect. So yeah, that was weird. I got this case worker I've been working with for a really long time. Kara love her. She loves me. And yeah,

when they should have drove to the house that I was staying and she just got my address. And she just dropped off this big binder of, like, all the writings and just random thing from schools. And no, it's case notes and whatnot from over the years and just, like, handed it to me. And she was just, like, crying. And she was just like, You know, I love you. I wish you'd look. And here,

you know, here's your Byner and Ah, yeah, I never really I didn't talk to her again until my first speech, which was, like, four years later, huh? Which is nice, because, like, I got to see her, she got to see How you doing here? I'm doing. I'm like the main speaker. Like the last time she saw me.

She's like you could tell in her eyes. She was just like, I don't know if he's gonna make it, you know, you could tell she looks scared for

32:6

me. But what happens? Like she handed you the binder and then they just expect you to be on the street the next morning are No,

32:11

that's it. Give you your finer. They say, Good luck. You're out of the system. They have no responsibility over you. And since there's a bunch of, like, laws and stuff like that to, you know, like what? Caseworkers and clients, then the caseworker can't even speak to you for, like about a couple of years or a year.

32:26

But even though she is potentially the closest person because she's been

32:31

following you for exactly exactly. But it's just a it's a rule. It's like a confidentiality rule. Once they're out of the system was not in that or vice versa. Then the contact has to be broken for a certain amount of time because probably in the past has been some inappropriate activities that occurred, you know, I mean, due to the fact that they are really close and that is the closest person some people would like to take advantage of that. Yeah, So you know the rules are in place for a reason, but sometimes it is counter acts, you know, kind of undoes everything. You know, like you here you are having a person that you trust. Finally, when you've been to this,

like, chaotic, you know, like unstable situation your whole life you finally found a purse that stable, that's been there. And I'm just like, Oh, hey, you're 18 now. You're an adult. Goodbye. I can't talk to you. Here's your binder.

33:14

I think most 18 year olds in good families wouldn't know what to do if somebody just handed them the binder and said, You have to, like, walk out of the door

33:23

tomorrow, right? Yeah. Today you're 18. Yeah, that's literally what it was. It's just like you're 18 by and they try to like they tried to give you some big values. Like maybe you should go to the wind, say tomorrow and look for some housing. Or maybe you should, like, look at the shelter. Here is a list of some shelters that are open or here is a list of some some open vacancies for some home so you can buy. That's it. That's literally just they wish you the best, and that's all they could do because I even the law doesn't allow him to do any more than what they do. So what you hear?

34:3

So you get the button or you're told to get out of the house. You know, I, uh, when people move from states estate or like from another country to us, they kind of have troubles for a couple of months because they have no Social Security, they can get a cell phone, there's no credit history. And like for people with jobs, this takes forever, and you get out of the system that you have no job. You assume you have no money. You have no place to live any more like was that like, Do you remember like, your first day with the binder in your hands and like no other stuff? Because I guess you don't really have

34:37

any stuff. Yeah, like, it wasn't all like that. It wasn't like I was just dropped off until I got apocalyptic wasteland out of nowhere. And I'm just like, looking around, you know, I had some stuff established. I'm pretty pretty cool, dude, you know. So I got some friends that were like, You know, I'll let you stay in my spot like a couple of days and stuff like that, But still, you just like just you still feel like a kid,

you know what I mean? And you're just like roaming around aimlessly. And there's not a lot of guiding factors. They're just not a lot of support from people. There's not a lot of people you look up to, so you kind of just feel lost, you know? And when you're when you feel lost, that one, that's when you can really get into anything. You know, that's what I see a lot of people out there, a lot of kids that I went to foster homes with on the streets of Seattle, bro, like selling dope and homely.

35:28

You know them, but they're out there right now.

35:30

I've seen them. I know I was raised up with them and they're just out there selling drugs or homeless or pushing around cards in downtown Seattle. Smell like piss like, you know, I mean, it's just like I'm not making fun of them at all. It's just sad, because when you are lost like that, when you just when you're handed a minor. You're just like a good look. And you have you have you haven't had, like, a lot of guidance or a lot of Dr Then you can just end up in that situation and there is situated. There's times were like I ended up in that situation because I just couldn't find home. You know, I couldn't stay at my friend's house. The shelters were filled.

Ah, um, I had no money, so I had to do it at the Du Mans like there's there's times where I got the sleeping or like, Bridges and, like I only had like, my small little T shirts. And how will I sleep inside my T shirt, like on the side of a church when it's like 10 degrees out? Like there's been times like that? You know, we're like, I've got to sleep outside for Helen for a bunch of nights, and I would just add a free membership of the wine, see a at the gym. Thank God.

And yes, I was just like, wake up super early and this I go to the wine, see a like try to work out, take a shower like look like, you know, like, look nice and I would go to work. You know, I got a driver like Albertson's all the way in Milton, just like five. And I'll take, like, this three hour bus all the way out there to make, like, 40 bucks to come all the way back till I sleep on the street,

you know? And I try to figure out if I can get into a shelter. Um, yeah, like I don't even I don't really know. I was thinking about what was in the street. I think it was just I never really felt like I was gonna be there forever. You know? I just feel like I need to get I just gotta keep moving forward. And I just got to survive the night and I'll figure something out because I'm very, like, resourceful. I only did that for, like, a couple of months like, but it was often on throughout my foster care system,

you know, they're on my foster care experience, you know, like sometimes I get kicked out and they wouldn't be able to find, like, a home for me, and I'd slip through the cracks and on the streets for, like, a couple of weeks. And then, like after a while, I get in contact with my case manager and they try to find something, but yeah, it's not fun, man. Like,

you know, like, hydra stuff. It's definitely dangerous. You definitely don't get a lot of sleep because you have to stay like intensive while you sleep, because you never know what's gonna happen like you to see a lot of things like seeing people get, like, stabbed out there. And I Yeah, I've been shot at, Uh, yeah, just like just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, you know? But you're on the street, so it's like you're on the street,

you're exposed to everything that's on the street, you know, You know, at home we're not just driving through in your car. You like you live there. You have the kind of experience, everything that's there, you know, like then God have always people always like, liked me. You know, like in a sense of like they don't want to like you hurt me, you know? So, like, I've always had people that had my back,

like, on the streets, you know, I've had to homeless people, like, give me some food and, you know, like vice versa are like, they've, like, taking me, like, under their wing and, like, you know, push people away and stuff like that.

So, thank God I definitely had, like, the best situations out of the worst situations, like the best outcomes out of the worst situations. Because it could have been way worse. I could've been dead so many times. They're like murder and brutally. You know, Blake, things just happened. I don't know. I guess I'm here for a reason. Because none of that stuff happened, but easily could have easily, you know,

like sleeping in alleys and stuff like that easily somebody could just walk by. Nobody would ever knew anything, you know, because, like, four in mourning or three o'clock in mourning in Seattle in an alley, you know, and I'm just some random homeless kid. So it was hard

39:20

you turned out all right, But how many people

39:22

don't know they don't. Like I said, like, I just always had this thing in my head like it's gonna get better, but, like, not just better, but, like, way better, like, I'm definitely make a bunch of changes. And I'm gonna be way up there and, like, I need to experience this so that I can see it vividly, like where it came from. You know,

when I end up where I'm gonna end up, it's like I need to be like, this really happened. You know, like, I need toe. Really? Take that all in and really see the greatness that it is

39:49

well, where they need, like, super positive memory. See, remember that were also kind of awesome. Little kind of darkness. Yeah, man, I had

39:58

so many experiences, man, like so many families is going on like cool trips. And I got to, uh, experience, like, all races of life, you know, like I was raised by white people raised by black people. Raise it by, like, native Americans raised by Mexicans. I got, like, no straight up, but I got the same Owens,

you know, got toe play like you mean like tackle football with no pads with a bunch of some Owens I got you know, I mean, that's like, go to car, show that Mexican, you know, like this. Think everything, you know? I mean, I got to go to like, cool, like, yes is cool like festivals, like all my African friends.

And it's been a beautiful life because I've seen so many things. I've experienced so many things because, like, I've been brought been just, like, randomly put in so many places, you know? And I'm not the person I just I don't know, like, I could have been like that. I could have been closed minded

40:48

and been like, Well, hate this what I'm at, you know, where I could

40:51

just be open minded. I like I'm here like, what's here? You know, like, And when I finally did that, I realized there's so much here, you know, like everyone goes through like, bad days. Well, like I feel like I've lived a really, really beautiful life, you know, even like here on this podcast like this is Austin. Not a lot of people get to do this, you know?

So, yeah, it's like meeting people. There's so many people on my journey that, like, like, lit up the way, you know, really? Like, show me like there's a a better way out there, like my brother Ethan. You know, like he was like number one person like that really trusted me when I was first. Like in prosecutor, you know,

like there's a white dude, you know, you know, freaking like trust me, like in his house after a while. And it was just like I'm just like minority kid, you know, like the foster kid. You know, everybody else thinks I'm like, I'm gonna rob somebody. I'm going to do this and that and who you are just like this. Do just like I trust you. And like we're brothers till this day, you know, my brother And like it's just like he showed me,

like the good side of life. You know, he showed me like I could go out to, like, bars, my friends and, like, have cool friends and not get too drunk and have fun and play chess at a bar. Or go do karaoke e or going trips here and go do that. You know, I saw that I was like, That's really cool. You know what it made me like? Want aspire to go to be like that, you know, and do things like that.

And there's other people had to show me, like other ways of like working out or just like being a bit or going on adventures like I saw people like that in my life and made me want to go do that to, like, Alex. Oh, Carmen, like another person from the y you like. He's only, like, really got me onto, like, camping and, like, kayaking and like the arcade fire, you know what I mean? Like,

I remember like being in a suit be when I was, like, 16 Like we're driving to like the San Juan Islands to go kayaking around all three of them and I'm staying here. There's, like, this foster kid, you know, like that's seen a bunch of, like, messed up things, like in this cool car on the way to some crazy island to go kayaking. You know, it was like, This is cool, man. So there's like,

a lot of this stuff like that throughout my life that kind of like soft and all the mess of things that happen, you know, and kind of like put a reasoning behind what all that stuff happens, you know? And it just keeps going like every day. So it's like it's like exciting you know, it's like exciting and scary, cause I know there's still gonna be bad times, but they're still gonna be a heck ability, like all sometimes you know what I'm like saying That's why that happened.

43:11

No, it's, uh, you know, that's good to know, but these two kids who do end up kind of out of the system and happy eventually. But, you know, let's let's talk about how it still follows you around like you're 27 by the way, for anyone listening. If you guys haven't figured this out yet, Royle is sort of black, and I gotta tell the story, right, because a za white person that's never happened to me, and I think there are a lot of people who say all racism doesn't exist. But you and I went to fly my drone around the rich people's neighborhood and we get out of the car and we started flying the drone and some lady approaches us and she goes,

kids where where do you live? And I'm like, Well, live here, you know, in this town. And she's like, No, no, what, like where do you really live? Like where exactly do you live, right? She was pointing into the fact that we don't live in her neighborhood. And I was just like, chill,

lady, you know, we just like it drove, is just was a good place. And she totally thought we were gonna rob her house and to me, and I was just, like, why she's so weird. And then you just go relax, lady. I'm only half black. And then it occurred to me like, Oh, I see you. So if, like,

if you were never with me, you know me flying, you've only got blown drone like, 100 times before that no one cares. But here's this blanket flying and drawing, and all of a sudden, like it's an end of the world, Andi, things like that. It sounds like things like that happen to you all the time, just by the color of your skin. And then, you know, that's on top of the old instability and type of all the other stuff. Um, so let's talk about that,

and I don't know if you want to share the passport story and how, Just like being the kid from foster family means you don't really have your documents in order and society runs of documents, right? Like in a way like downfall. Well, like tell me how, like all of that follows you around. There's an adult in how you the system, me and the 18 they think Well, now you'll take care of yourself. Right now you'll be fine, but really like, 10 years later, you're still shoveling a lot stuff out of the way, including, like,

legal fees. You said right, like you will get a free attorney, but that the court will charge illegal fees that you don't even know about them. They'll put interest in that. And then five years later, you end up with a $5000 bill that you didn't know existed. Like you didn't have an address right there. Probably send you noticed somewhere. But you weren't there. Let's talk about that.

45:42

So yet it follows me around like every day, you know, every single day, like I live it every single day. You know, like when I want to pay off my debt. You know, when I talk about that and these challenges, all these challenges are literally from like back in that time, you know, back in that era, So it's discouraging. It is. It really does suck. It's discouraging because, like, I feel like I have so much on my plate,

you know, that I have to handle from, like, the past, and I feel like I'm not getting anywhere and it really bothers me. It, like, gets to me like I see other people. They're like, way you're gonna meet, like, getting all these things done and like what? All this like support and all that stuff and like, this is a much more efficient system. And I got kind of see myself. I don't have any.

I don't really have any support. And, like I'm like, I'm I don't know, like, I feel like I missed a missing boat, you know, like I have all these ideas and these things. I want to do anything I want to pursue. And I could like these things that kind of extend out of that time. My life are still like, you know, like, kind of holding you back. And I like justice like that's just like financial stuff, you know?

I mean, they're still, like emotional stuff, too, Like I can't really trust a lot of people too much like my life. I'm so used to my life being like, really unstable. So when it's kind of stable, it's kind of weird, so that yet it's really weird, man. But like I could say, I deal with that every day, you know, like I did really well. But that stuff, like on a date today, Um,

47:26

so there's a lot of conversation in Seattle about raising taxes and giving more money to the city, in the words of support all sorts of social programs to help homeless people. But in your experience, you know, do you think it's going to go to the right place or other better ways to support kids like you had every phase in? You know, they're just giving money to the city to go to some programs, like what can be done with that money? Better to actually help you instead of sending you on this constant roller coaster.

48:0

I think by giving the money to like specific organizations that will do the most work because he's like these organizations are meant toe change, something specific in the system, you know? I mean and they know what they're doing. You know. I mean, they can give the city one thing.

48:14

And so you mean instead of the city social program a za whole, their organizations, that what kind of things do they do individually that they really benefit the kids

48:24

like the wine. See a purse, a day artisan all around, amazing organization, you know, like they have job training programs. They have case manager. You know, they have a case management where you can go into the independent living program and get a case manager. And it's like a person like a good best friend. You know? I mean, that they hook you up with that, helps you with, like, dressing for interview, what to say in an interview.

How to get started for college. How do, like, get howto they'll take you. They'll take you to your school and go to financial aid with you and talk to somebody with you. They'll take it to the deal Well, to take it to the d M v to get your license with. You don't do things like that with you, you know? I mean, it's not like a lot of kids in that situation don't even have that opportunity of like an adult going tomorrow with someone and often times they don't even know how to do that. Don't do there will help you do your taxes. You know, like, will this help you develop as a person so that you're able to, like,

manage yourself later on in life, you know, as opposed to just like just giving money to, like, a random program that kind of just, like, supports this thing Right now, it's like I feel like they should give the money to those kind of programs that help develop, you know, to help develop individuals. So that is preventative, as opposed to being like there's an issue. What do we do now? You know, I mean this, like,

start to prevent it. And, you know, I mean, like, that's a good way because, like, there's a lot of kids in foster care, so and like, a lot of a lot of them end up homeless,

49:43

you know? How many are we talking about?

49:45

Um, I'm not too sure and statistic, but I feel like at least like 60% of foster Children, like end up homeless at least one time. Like a lot like a lot like a direct correlation from, like kids from foster care going straight into homelessness because there's not a lot of support in that area. Um, so I feel like that Would that would really help, you know, because I've seen it work for me. Yeah, you know, like, kind of sex turning it off, getting somebody independent, living program. Kind of just teaching him those skills that they that they didn't They weren't taught,

you know, because it sucks being like 18 and being like, I don't know how to, like, write a check. I don't how to do this. I don't know how to mail letter howto, you know, it's like, very overwhelming, you know, And it kind of gets you, too. But there's still things these days. I don't know how to really do that. I gotta teach myself,

You know, that likes tying a tie and is doing some changing like a little windshield wiper. You know, like a lot of people's fathers, like, taught him that our stuff with tools like I don't know how to do that. So I got to look it up on YouTube and try to figure it out, but it's pretty cool. What? I figure out how to do it, but it's just like a lot of, like, knowledge gaps that I have that that kind of suck that kind of get to Mi Teoh

50:56

right in the society doesn't understand that they think you went through foster homes, right? So you have parents, but given all the circumstances we talked about, like you barely survived, like in good cases, you know, they talk you algebra and trigonometry cases you basically spent, like, a year of surviving. So it's not like you actually learned anything. And then you already emotionally the stress. So you're not really learning much in school. So overalls like you're wasted, right, that other programs that monitor this and like basically checks and balances for the social system that we have in place Any private programs that, you know, it sounds like it would be useful, right? If somebody could having oversight and really check like Is the money bin spanned like other kids actually improving that?

51:42

Yeah. I don't know if any program does that. It's not like, kind of like this numerous like programs that have, like, a specific mission, but not for like one that just kind of, like, has an overview and kind of over watches all the systems and estate as a whole. No, but that would be helpful. That would be, You know, you could have that one organization or entity that goes all right, We're lacking in this, You know, in this aspect,

we should maybe do something Here are black and every year, you know. So I thought that would that would really help just organize the whole system. So it's not so jumbled up and mixed up. It was like a lot of research is out there, too, you know, just upto being able to consolidate him and making them accessible to people. So they're able to like tap into them because there could be re sources. But people don't ought to tap into him. Then what's the point of the resource?

52:34

Right. And the kids can't either. You can't go in and say What I need to know is a 14 year old frost ticket versus a 17 year old fast.

52:42

That's what I really like case managers. Because they sit down with you, they get to know you, so they start to kind of know and learn what you as an individual, specifically need. That's what I really like those and it gives you someone to look up Thio. You know, it gives you somebody you know, like somebody to guide you, give you small, random pieces of knowledge and what? Not like because, like foster parents, some of them could be cool likes house like there could be like that one teacher That's really cool that they put out that much effort, you know, they're just like you can tell that they really want to be there in a passionate about their job. Or

53:14

you could just have, like a regular foster parent. That's

53:16

just you're here because you need shelter. You know, that's your room. That's the kitchen. You know, sometimes have weird rules, like be in bed by 10 or be back home by this. But other than that, there's not. There's not a lot of involvement, you know, it's kind of just like I get money for you. Every month there's a room like your you know, like a like a landlord

53:36

tenant thing. Do you know how much money they get?

53:39

Um, I don't know. I just know, like I was high risk. So they were getting like in the thousands for me, like a month. And I was just

53:46

one kid I don't But you're not getting anything other than room and food.

53:50

Yeah, and it just really depends too. Like on the clothing, too, because they don't have the value, clothing and stuff. They can just kind of keep affairs themselves. Yeah, that's what I said. That's why I pointed out with another costume how I would get like, 300 bucks a month just for myself to go buy clothes like I've never seen that before except for my first foster home, Sherry And she would always body close. But all the other foster homes you never saw that money, you know, they're like it goes to your

54:13

rent and a ghost here, the food, like

54:16

all 1000 something dollars for me. And you have, like, eight kids in this house like I don't understand, you know, like I can't get one shirt

54:23

so they're clearly parents on. I'll just put it in quotes parents because they just literally running a business of these kids, really taking thousands of dollars

54:32

every month and multiples a lot of times like the pasta Prince wouldn't even have jobs and they would have mansions.

54:40

Yeah, How can you leg? I mean, I'm not saying you have to have a job, but you ideally want to give a kid to a family that got their things together.

54:48

Eight. That's true. But if you have a mansion on the lake and you have, like, a bunch of cars out there a lot of times, really don't ask a lot of questions,

54:55

really? So it could be that good. Like it? Visually, it's actually glowing home. But on the inside is just a factory that milks the

55:2

kids for money. Exactly. And that's what happened with one of the homes that I was in. It was like this mansion, like on Dash Point in federal way. I get there, Mike. Holy crafters. Like 11 bedrooms in the house. You have a tram that leads down to the like our private beach, huh? So, like I get there and my place is cool. So yeah, there was like, seven or eight kids in that house all at one time. You know,

I always wondered, and I found out their souls a pastor and pastor's wife and I had a church downstairs and I was like, Are you guys have a church? That's pretty cool. And I don't know, like after a while I kind of started seeing, like, weird like habits from them, you know, like the new kids that would come into the to the home if they weren't on medication after a week that go to the same doctor and get on medication. And I seen this happen like about three or four times

55:48

because kids on medication cost more. So you get more money

55:51

from the system. Indeed, yes, they become, ah, high risk, high risk youth. So you get a little bit more cash for that. So these, like I would see this like, three or four times. You know, this new kid comes in, they're totally find, and after a week, something happens at school, quote unquote whatever, and they would go to the same doctor and get on a DHD medicine.

56:9

And I was just like, I understand what's going

56:12

on because, like, this happened with me, too. You know, they wanted to get on medication because, like I was ready on medication, but they wanted up. It and all the kids that weren't they would just put him on it. So I started seeing this pattern. You know, it was the same doctor, and it was like a super quick process. It was like they were just talking to the doctor. Boom, boom, boom on Feels like,

uh, it's out there a while. Like I just started asking questions, you know, like they about it, they didn't have jobs. And I'm like, how do you guys have this, like, $4 million house on home, on the water and have, like, all these cars, you Mercedes and you have no job like none of them had a job. They would just chill all day. And I'm just like So I started thinking about

56:52

it, and I was like, Wait, they get a bunch of money for me And I was like, all

56:57

and all these kids being on put on medication, they get a bump. So now they're all like up in the thousands to or how many? You know, I'm like they had, like, seven or eight, so that's like 1000 bucks a month. Then they have church downstairs. We're like exactly the church they you know, the offerings give offering, so they collect that money tax write

57:15

off. And I'm like, he's the son of a guns. Like, that's

57:19

how they're doing this, you know? I mean so like, after a while, the lady got mad at me because I said something. There is this one incident where the kids got mad at me and they threw me down from the top bunk. And I just took this iron that was on for, like, five minutes. And he stuck it in the middle, like, on the inside of my thigh and kept it there, and they watched, like the skin peel off, and it did it to get on the back of my back of my cab. And unlike the bruise, yeah,

scar, could they ripped all the way out. So I went to the doctor. I got, like, second degree burns or whatever, and I went home and I was asking if the kids were going to get in trouble and the pastor in the pastor's wife goes, you have a scar of a snake's tongue on inside your thigh, which means you're speaking like venom or you're speaking like something some blasting your slander, so they're not gonna get in trouble. Look at the Bible says something, Something that was like So I just got physically hurt and you guys are justifying it through religion. So I just put that another one on my list, and I'm still in middle school, just like taking mine. So So after that,

I called him out on it. So I got put upstairs in the room in the attic, and then they had this new kid, Ollie. They had him go through all my stuff and, like, pick out shoes and clothes and whatnot that my mom bought me sherry from my first foster family. And I remember him being at the bottom of the stairs when I was in the attic.

58:37

And he was like, all that When I got mad, I got your Jordans. I got

58:40

your shirt. I got this in that. And I'm like doctors. My mom bought me that. And in the Foster mom, the pastor's wife goes, Yep, because you you like, messed up. That's all his now. So I was like, You're gonna let him take my things. So after that, I was like I just couldn't handle it like I put all my like evidence in my mind all together. And I was like, That's gonna so there's gonna happen to him. So she came upstairs,

like a day later that has kept me up. They're not even feed me for, like, a day. Um, she went upstairs, he said something and I was just like I said, something smart. And

59:12

she was like, what you said to me and I was like, What did you say to be? And I said blah blah like you guys have a house

59:17

that you don't pay for you to have a job. You're a liar. You don't even know who God is like. You're probably the devil. Use all those people that go to your church. Your hair is fake like you did this. You did that. You had a report. You guys were freaking like lazy, sort of. It goes to live off the state and live up kids. And you guys are using kids and you think I'm gonna go to heaven? You're definitely going to hell

59:36

do it. I just went off and said everything, and she would She looks at me. She goes, bam!

59:42

Just smacks me super hard in the face. And I'm like, Yeah, I am calling CPS. So I went to the house phone and I called CPS and they did a whole. And I even mentioned the doctor thing to him like, I know you're going to the same doctor. Could these crooked so I could get some extra money and I said all of that. So she hit me. I got taken out of home. They put me in my first foster mom, Sherry, the one I couldn't. I mean, they pull me back with her after years and they did an investigation on that foster home. Everything. Every single thing I said was correct.

The doctor got in trouble. They got their license taken away. They got their home taken away. All the kids got taken out of the way. Get out of the foster home. They got charged with something. The doctor got charged with something but everything I said this whole conspiracy that I was singing in my

60:25

head when I was in seventh grade, it was all true. Well, that back to the point, right, like kids should realize that they're smarter than they think They are. And they're the adults. I'm not just adults because they older, like age doesn't matter. You have to earn your respect. 77th grader could be just a smart as the 40

60:46

year old dude. Exactly. Trust your gut. Always fresh for good. That's what I've always chart of all. My whole life is like my gut intuition and that voice that says something you're like, What is that? You know, like, just listen to that. It's going to get stronger and stronger as you listen to it, and it's gonna lead you to some stuff like that because I would have never knew.

61:4

Like I'm in seventh grade. I'm a kid like who woulda knew. Okay, Just, like, see this whole thing happening when nobody else could. Adult social workers, their god, Nobody could see this,

61:16

and I could see it. And it was crazy, and it was all true. And so, yeah. Have you ever sent something like that? Don't just off the bat, do some research, but you're good. It's like a really, really big tool, especially in situations like these in life. Uh,

61:32

that's here, is you You mentioned religion, and, uh, I feel like would you consider yourself religious, You know, spiritually in the way, because it sounds like you know, there's some idea of religion that you have, that it helps you to keep going. But it's not like a traditional, so to speak religion, right. And from your experience, more religious people seem to have abused the system than the number Religious. Exactly. Um, we'll just leave that that it's

62:10

true. No, I see myself as more of a spiritual person. You know, like I feel like there's something great out there. I feel like we're often stars. I feel like we're all connected. So to say, I don't feel like there's a deciding religion that's like minds, right? Because,

62:26

like, how can you have all these religions like the's thousands of religions that say, I'm right, you're wrong and they'll die for that religion. So who's to say, like they're wrong? And they're right. But it's like we have 1000 of these going on at the same time, and each one of them is the right one. How can you have a right one? Which means,

62:46

how can there be one? Which means I don't believe in this organized religion because like there's nothing

62:50

to believe in. It's like I don't know, I just don't get it. Like in my mind. I just can't grasp that. I'm like, what makes him right into him wrong? And you're wrong because he has a better story, like I don't I don't get it because this takes place at another spot. That's way better than this place geographically like. That's why that religions better

63:8

like I don't get it. I don't understand it like I think we're all equal man who were the same. Only difference between people are

63:15

some people are just mean and some

63:17

people are cool. You know, I like to call people like that.

63:23

So all the set right? Like if you were to give a couple pieces of advice to the foster kids and maybe, you know, you also like the parents off the non foster kids that probably see there's going on a daily basis, they just don't know because you said, like foster kids don't want to be known as the Foster kid. What well, first like for the foster kids, you know, what should they do to maximize the positive in their life?

63:56

That's just hard. That's just really hard to say, like a piece of advice, because there's somebody like different circumstances out there. You know, there's so many different circumstances, like a kid could have been taken out of a home where it was abusive or like you know, where he wanted to be. Your kid was taken out of the home because a parent could take care of and wanted to stay there. So

64:17

I don't

64:18

really have, like, a specific piece of advice for foster Children except for like a reach out. You know, try to people try to find people of like, like minds and reach out and don't isolate so much. That's very easy to do is just like isolated state yourself, and it does feel like the world is against you, but it really feels like it is, and a lot of factors seem like it is. But let's try not to tryingto Eisley and reach up because there's other people out there, too are going to the same thing, you know, And it would make their life a lot better, too. If you just found them. You know,

you guys could definitely How about fellowship right there have something to talk about. That's what I found. Help me out. I found a lot of good friends that were in prosecutor, and now we can talk about it, like laugh about it and stuff like that. So, yeah, just like really talking about and king out there about it and not just proving to yourself that you're not alone because you're not. You want to get a piece of ice

65:14

and, well, other other in communities they can go to online or in real life that will. That's not connected with the system that's going to make him feel more inclusive. Included

65:28

on this not connected to decision. Yeah, I don't know any that's gonna be not connected to the system, but I do know a good organization that's super cool. That's like very like family. Like going like That's the wine. See a, um, just like the independent living program. It's gonna be the 4200 building in Seattle, and that's gonna be like you have. They always have dinners there. You guys can cook together. Guys go out on trips together. Um, there's a bunch of cool things like that San Juan Islands. You guys got the camp like it's a really cool thing,

you know, like like you guys were talking about the fact that you're homeless, their urine prosecutor. You know, you guys are just a bunch of cool people going out in this trip through the line. See a And if you guys ever want to make changes, if you guys ever feel that desire to, like, make changes to give back and like this, help somebody out that's going through what you're going going through, I'm the Mockingbird. Society is a good one. They teach you how to use your voice, and it's like, Yeah, I'll hook you up with,

like, some speeches for you speaking from the businesses, foster parents, um, a bunch of people just to get your word out there to get your opinion out there, get how you're feeling out there and make some changes. I've changed over, like, three laws just working with the Mockingbird society. Um, so, yeah, that's a really good spot, too, because I really empowers me when you see like something that you went through and you're really passionate about, and then you take to somebody and they take the somebody else and Olympia talking to a Legislature and then,

like a month or two later, the bill that, like started from your issue gets passed so that no other kid has to go through it like that. Right there is so dope. It really is like you. You went through some bad stuff and you always wondered why. Why did I go through this? And now, like, two years down the road, there's like a law that's put in place because you went through that and you wondered why. And now nobody else has to go through that. And if they do go through it best believe they're gonna be put in jail. There's gonna be some repercussions, you know? But there's a law now that protects people.

So, yeah, the Mockingbird Society will help you change the laws so you can help other kids out, you know, And

67:30

also having known you for a couple of years, it sounds like stability, like finally reaching sort of more may be boring, but stable point in your life was really useful for you, right? Like where you got that job in top hot and kind of every day. There was something to do it like paying you money being your rent and everything. And the speaking opportunities that were you were doing were also like, It's like me and you're stable. Human being right there was missing for many years

67:57

has buried group Stability is nice, but sometimes stability can be overrated.

68:4

Stories you want to share before we go.

68:7

Uh, yeah. No, it's looking up, man.

68:13

Stay out of trouble.

68:14

They had trouble. Foster care is looking up. Stay happy.

68:19

All right, That's about it. Well, thanks for coming and sharing your story.

68:24

Thanks for having me, man.

68:26

Thank you for listening to this episode of bread that show this is your host. If you'd like to get in touch with Royal, you confined him on royal Williams dot com r o e l Williams dot com. As always, if you like the show and you want to share it with somebody, please do. And if you have any questions for me, go to ride that show dot com, hit the contact button and shoot me a message. Lastly, I want to say thanks to an artist called Blue Sessions, whose music I was using for the beginning of this podcast. you confined Maur off Blue Sessions music at www dot sessions dot blue and Big thanks to Free Music Archive, which I used to find the music. All right, Thank you.

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