The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 20, 2007

Tough road ends at good home

Woman finds a real family in foster care

Editor's note: Tammy, a former foster child, and her foster parents, Beth and Bill, have requested their last names be withheld from this article.

MILTON -- Tammy doesn't know where she'd be without her foster parents.

The 26-year-old Geisinger employee was only 9 when her abusive father forced her into foster care. It was a tough road.

Her first few homes "did not work out at all," Tammy says. Her anger management problems made things harder. And her reluctance to let men into her life added to Tammy's troubles.

But finally, after years of failed foster situations and a stint at Norristown Psychiatric Hospital, Tammy met the people who would change her life forever.

Beth and Bill were already veteran foster parents when they welcomed Tammy into their Milton residence. As such, Beth knew Tammy would need time to come around.

"Sometimes kids need their space," Beth explained. "I told Tammy, Take your time. When you're ready, we're here.'"‰"

It didn't happen overnight. Like most foster children in Beth's care, Tammy spent plenty of time alone in her upstairs room. She'd needed to think things through.

And when she did come downstairs to begin the routine of her new life, it wasn't all smooth sailing.

"We had our share of ups and downs," Beth admits. "I'm big on rules, and we had some issues."

But Tammy decided she wanted to break free of the path her biological parents had led her down. She wanted to graduate from high school. She wanted to make something of herself.

"I had a lot of anger and violence stemming from my family," Tammy said. She also had a strong desire to get beyond her past. The then-18-year-old just needed a little push.

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