I’m not sure of the year but I was a child when this strange woman arrived at my grandparent’s apartment in NYC. It was Christmas and she came in toting shopping bags filled with toys for my brother and me. She was dressed differently than anyone I’d seen before: hot pants, stockings, and high boots. My best guess it was 1969. I then learned she was an aunt I’d never heard of, my father’s youngest sister. And as mysteriously as she arrived in my life she would disappear again, for another few years.
When I saw my aunt the next time her dress was ordinary and she had people… a husband, a baby, and my two cousins: Kevin was who my age and Melissa who was one year older. I was amazed when I found out where they had been.
From the time they were toddlers, a wonderful woman raised Kevin and Melissa in Brooklyn. They were in foster care for what I can estimate to have been ten years before they were once again with their mother and became part of my life.
To Rich and all of the wonderful foster parents out there, thank you for your love and for raising children for parents who are not able. For Kevin and Melissa their return would not be without turbulence; but it was you who gave them the strength and foundation to endure. God Bless you.