A Comfortless Reality
At just one year old, Noel Anaya was separated from his parents and removed from his house in California. Though he was too young to remember leaving his first home, he remembers all the ones that came after— Noel moved through foster placement after foster placement, put in four different families by the time he was eight. Soon, he was sent outside of California, first to Michigan and then to Idaho. “Some foster families were religious and encouraged me to participate in their traditions, which felt strange,” Noel remembers. “I moved around so much, I never felt like I fit in.” Noel’s experience of constant movement, adjustment, and loneliness isn’t merely his own— for many foster children across the country, impermanence is a comfortless reality. And what is one of the most critical, long-term effects of these constant new foster placements? A child’s ability to succeed in school.