As a child, Steve lived with his Mom and her boyfriend who was a pimp and drug dealer. Mom’s boyfriend routinely beat the heck out of Steve and his mother. Steve was forced to watch as the boyfriend murdered a rival drug dealer. Even then Steve lived with his mother till she died of an illness when he was 11. Child Protection placed Steve in the care of his father who had remarried. The stepmother hated him and abused him. Eventually, his father kicked him out of the house and he ended up on the streets.
My name is Eli. I used to live with my mom. She and her boyfriend would beat my brother Antonio and me with golf clubs and extension cords and then keep us home from school so no one would see the bruises. She’d be watching TV or cooking and then something would just set her off. Sometimes her boyfriend would hold us down while mom hit us. For fun he’d throw my little brother across the room and laugh about it.
The cops came once to bust mom for weed. They noticed we were pretty bruised so they took us to the hospital for a few days.
My name is Adamma, and I was adopted from Eastern Africa with my three younger sisters in 2005. I loved attending school, and I received all A’s that first year of my adoption. I even started looking at college brochures. My sisters joined soccer teams and we made lots of friends in the neighborhood and at our church. We were getting excited about our futures, until everything changed.