What Do We Have In Common?

By Nicholas W., Age 12

What do a 12 year old boy from Boston and a 12 year old boy from New Orleans have in common? On the surface it may seem like not much. After all, we in the North did not suffer the effects of the devastating hurricanes at the end of last summer!

I have thought a lot about the kids in the South over the past few months, and I have realized that I have a lot more in common with them than I thought. Some of the kids in the Louisiana area lost their homes, their parents, their schools, their friends and all their stuff. All of these are very much the same things I had to go through, but not because of a hurricane.

I am in DSS custody right now, and I got taken away from my mother last March. She had some problems that she was going through and DSS thought it was better for me to live somewhere else. Not getting a vote in this decision really stunk! I felt really scared because I couldn’t understand why this was happening to us. I bet there are kids in the South who asked this same question last August.

When I got taken out of my home, I couldn’t take anything at all. I had to go to a Foster Home for a few days and stay with people I didn’t even know. I didn’t even know where my Mom was. I was finally able to get some of my stuff and I went to my aunt and uncle’s house for a week. Then I lived with my other aunt for 3 months. Finally I move in with my other aunt and my cousin, where I am still living right now.

I went to 3 different schools in 6 months! I had a hard time adjusting at first, but I love the school I go to now. (My aunt is a teacher there) and I’ve mad some wicked awesome friends.

March 16, 2005 was the day I was taken away, and that date sticks in my memory. I bet the kids in the South can remember the date of the hurricanes the same way. I’ve been away from my Mom for almost a year. On June 27th there will be a hearing in court telling whether or not I will go back with my mother. I am 100% sure I will go back with my mother, and when I do I will be very thankful.

My family has been very supportive to me, and even though this has not been the easiest experience, I realize I do have a lot of good things in my life. I also try not to think too much about my situation because I know there are kids who have lost a lot more that I have. When I am having a bad day, and I feel sorry for myself, I try to remind myself of what my peers in Louisiana have gone through. Then I say a prayer for them.

So to the kids who have survived the horrible tragedy, there are people like you. We understand your feelings, and we will not forget you.