Every year around Christmas, I think of a girl I went to school with briefly.  Blanche was the new kid.  She seemed lost.  I guessed it was because she’d changed schools in the middle of the school year but it turned out to be a lot more than that.  I felt so badly for her as her sad story unfolded.

Until her thirteenth year, Blanche had been the pampered only child of an older couple.  Out of the blue, child services showed up to inform Blanche and her parents that her “biological mother” was now tuberculosis free, ready to reclaim her children from foster care. All this information blindsided Blanche.  Within days, she was returned to her birth family, finding herself the second child and only girl in a family of seven children.

Blanche was devastated moving from a comfortable middle-class family into an impoverished family low on the social scale.  They lived in an unpainted farmhouse miles from town with no bathroom. She felt like a workhorse with major responsibilities for the first time in her life.  Her “old’ parents sent her a box of gifts at Christmas, but her “new” parents took them back to the store, exchanging them to get a gift apiece for each child instead.  She got a steam iron for Christmas, since she was responsible for the family’s ironing.

My friendship with Blanche was short.  One day the children weren’t in school.  We heard they’d gone back into foster care.  I always hoped Blanche got to return to her “old” parents like she yearned to.

15 thoughts on “Blanche

  1. I hope too that Blanche was returned to her previous foster parents, though from my experience as a carer it was probably unlikely. I had one boy leave me to go back to his family only to end up in hospital with alcohol poisoning. When he recovered, he was placed in a children’s home.


  2. That’s a heart-rending story. A good read, but very sad. As for the major reading you sent me, I’ve just been too under the weather to do any serious reading yet today, but I will get to it. I’m not even posting until tomorrow at the earliest. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    A story like that would always bother me, hoping as you do, that she was returned to the people who actually gave a […] about her. A good story, well written.


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