Memories on paperback

Georgette Todd opens up about her book “Foster Girl, A Memoir”

 “Foster Girl, A Memoir,” official image.

“Foster Girl, A Memoir,” official image.

Franchesca Walker

Memoirs are often groundbreaking books that dive deep into an author’s life that discuss many aspects such as adversity, triumph, and pain.

Georgette Todd, City College student and author of “Foster Girl, A Memoir,” explains the hardships of living in foster care from ages 14-18 years old and how she overcame many difficult times.

In her memoir, Todd provides documentations and lists all of the many centers and homes she dwelled in. Her story is unique, however, it is one of the many thousand foster children’s same story.

Prior to being placed into the system, she had no idea what foster care was and explained where she was first placed in.

“I never even heard the word foster care,” Todd said. “When I entered an emergency – they call it a receiving home, which means an emergency shelter, it’s just a temporary placement where they try to find your family or find a foster home to place you in. the whole purpose is kinda like a waiting station, you’re just there temporarily.”

Todd was terrified when she and her younger sister were in different homes because she didn’t know if they would be separated. It’s common for siblings to be apart in foster care; however, she was lucky they stayed by each other’s side the whole time.

“What kept my sane was the fact that I had my sister with me,” Todd said.

Although they remained together, caregivers often threatened them if they didn’t behave a certain way, Todd would be separated from her sister.

Todd wrote her memoir for readers to understand the circumstances she was in during the four years in foster care and the difficulties of bouncing around to many different homes. She also wanted to tell her story of what her experiences were that are often kept shut from the general public.

“I really wanted to show that other side of (foster care). I can never fully relax, could never just really hang out. Knowing that everything you say or do will be reported back to a social worker and they have to write a report and submit it into a file and they track your behavior. It can determine your placement, how you behave in a home,” Todd explains.

She began writing the book in her mid 20s when she was in college. Todd explained it was difficult for her to begin writing her experiences because of the emotional damage and revisiting pain. Through the process, she went through emotional strew such as weight gain and loss, and sleepless or long days of sleep.

“I had psychosomatic systems during some chapters writing them. The traumatic chapters, I suffered abuse. I wouldn’t sleep for days or I would crash and sleep 14 hour days, depending on what chapters I was writing,” Todd explains. “Once it was published and in my hands…it was like I was pregnant for 10 years and finally gave birth.”

Todd is currently writing another book and hopes to accomplish normalizing foster care by bringing to the forefront of conversation just as the issues of LGBT rights have been over the recent years.

“…Nobody has control over the family they were born into,” Todd said. “These kids of barring the brunt of these consequences of their parents’ decisions.”

Todd said she wrote the book for herself and didn’t plan on publishing but had a change of heart when she realized that there was very few books that really explained foster care in-depth. She went into detail about the structure of her memoir. She said she deigned her book for people to know the ins and out of foster care.

“I designed my book to be if you know nothing or very little about foster care, after reading my book you will know so much about foster care, inside and out.”

In her memoir, she includes her documents about her placement to the many facilities and homes she resided and court documents.

“It gives you a gritty, ground zero perspective which I thought was missing out there. I wish I didn’t have to write this book, but I’m glad I did.”

Although Todd has had some exposure for her book, she suffers from mainstream success. She’s reached out to talk show hosts Dr. Phil, Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O’Donnell and a few more, but has not received any comments from them.

“I find it hard to get mainstream media to pick this up. It’s really frustrating. It rally bothers me because one of the main reasons why I wrote this book is to expose these stories and this issue and when you have Ellen, Dr. Phil, all these people who talk about all these social problems and Dr. Phil even supports foster youth.”

However, Todd remains in high spirits and is pushing to get more exposure of her book.

“Right now I’m just hitting up the local markets and trying to build a movement that way.”