Diamonds Or Hearts
photo: Diamond, center, with their parents Amy (left) and Jessica (right)
By Diamond Kobylinski
Foster care. What does it mean to be a foster kid? Some people think it means no one wants you around. Some people think foster kids have done something to be in foster care. The reality of it is, there is nothing a kid could do to be put in the foster care system. Foster care is a last resort, and when a child is placed in foster care it is because an adult has really messed up.
Foster kids are no different than any other kid. They are just kids who have been dealt a crappy hand of cards from the deck of life.
My name is Diamond Kobylinski. I was placed in foster care at the age of two and a half, and I was not adopted until the age of seventeen. I was in the foster care system fifteen-and-a-half years. In that time I was in 30 different placements, and I suffered every form of abuse imaginable. But, out of all of the abuse, the thing that affected me the most was not having a loving home.
Ever since I was three years old I have known that I was gay. Growing up as a gay foster kid in the world made my life extra intense. I got made fun of by my foster siblings, and I was even once placed with a foster family who were verbally, physically and emotionally abusive towards me for being gay. I came out at the age of nine years old, and when I did my foster parents said that they didn’t care that I was gay and that they still love me. That was a huge relief, because I came out when I realized that me pretending to be something that I was not was just creating problems.
They made me feel safe in the moment but, as time went on, their true beliefs showed. They would get in my face and yell at me. They would call me names and they would even sometimes hit me. They said that if I wasn’t going to “become straight, then they were going to beat the gay out of me.”
Those fifteen-and-a-half years of my life in foster care were rough. I wanted to give up but I didn’t and life sent two amazing women my way.
After fifteen-and-a-half years of waiting, my mothers appeared. I had known my momma for months because she had run groups at an organization that I went to for support, but I never had a clue that she was interested in adopting me. My mom I had never met before, but together they have changed my life. My moms let me be the true me. My moms have helped me blossom into the adult that I am becoming. Adoptive parents are great.
Some people think that adoption is just until the age of eighteen, when in all reality adoption is for life. We are in need of more adoptive families or even just foster parents who want to always be there for a kid no matter what. You can be straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. What you identify as doesn’t matter. We just need more loving people who want to give these kids a forever home and to show them that they matter.
I ask you to open your hearts and to help kids just like me. Help kids who have suffered more in just a short amount of time then anyone should ever have to suffer. You can always make a difference.
Thank you, Diamond, for sharing your story.
No child should ever experience abuse or neglect. If you suspect that a child or teen is experiencing abuse or neglect, even if they live with a foster family, please report your concerns to 1-844-CO-4-Kids or dial 9-1-1 if there is an immediate danger. Learn more about becoming a foster and adoptive parent here.