Approximately around the year 1976,my sister Fawn and I were taken away from our mother. We were placed in foster care for the next two years. The first foster home was so bad, they might as well thrown us in a prison. We were placed with an African-American family which consisted of a single mother of two and a boy and girl about the same age as us. At first, I didn’t know what to think about them. I had never seen a black person before. I stared at them with a curious expression. I kept touching their skin and looking at my fingers to see if the color would rub off. Later these kids became our friends. They were such good kids. The mother on the other hand, was such a terrible mean woman. She didn’t want us playing with her children too long so she kept us separate from each other. We were also kept in our rooms most of the time. Our room never had any sun light coming in,just darkness and lit with a bare lightbulb. If we got out of bed or did any little thing wrong, we would get spanked with a ping-pong paddle. That would hurt us so much. We pretty much got hit with it everyday. Fawn and I were very scared of this woman. We endured eight months of isolation and child abuse. The only time we were able to be outside was when the social worker came over to see us. The woman had dressed and cleaned us up.(Obviously just for show for the social worker.) I wanted to say something but I was deadly afraid of this woman. My pleas for help went unheard.
After eight months, we were finally taken to another foster home. This foster home was the best ever! When we first arrived, we were greeted by an elderly man and woman. They were so happy to see us.Of course Fawn and I were silenced by the traumatic situation we had endured. They assured us it was okay. The older man brought me to their back yard and had shown me a lot of toys,especially the plastic indian and cowboy figurines. Inside my little heart, I was a happy little boy again. Fawn was happy too. It was hard to adjust to such a loving family,it took awhile. They gave us three square meals a day, toys,and clean clothes. They took us to church,road trips,fishing,carnivals,zoos and of course they gave us chores to do as well. The one thing I had a big problem with was asking them to use their bathroom. I was so shy and scared to ask them that I would poop and pee in my pants. I think being traumatized by my past experience had something to do with it. They were never mad at me for doing such things. They always encouraged me to ask. I think my foster mother took it very hard and seem to cry at times. I miss and love them very much. It was very hard for us to leave them.
After a year and four months with them. We were taken again,but this time my father, Frank Big Bear, won custody of us to which we were flown back to Minneapolis from Denver. I was five years old and Fawn was three.I remember Fawn and I were looking out the airplane window over Minneapolis and the social worker was telling us,”Your daddy is waiting for you down there”. We were so happy! As we were walking down the hallway. We could see our father and we both ran towards him and gave him a big hug at the same time. We became a family again.