This Foster Child's Wish List Makes Us Realize How Good We Have It

There's nothing more heart-wrenching than a child in need.

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We all struggle, have bad days, and sometimes think our lives suck. In actuality, most of us are very lucky to have a roof over our heads, food to eat, and people who love us.

But foster children are not as lucky.

We don't have to worry when we go to sleep at night. We don't have to wish for simple items like soap, a toothbrush, or a house with running water and lights. Many children cannot relate.


RELATED: What Living With The Emotional & Physical Pain Caused By A Childhood In The U.S. Foster Care System Feels Like

So, when a foster child wrote a wishlist, it made its rounds on the internet and went viral.

The wishlist from an Oklahoma foster child is probably one of the saddest things you'll ever read, and it might strike a nerve with you. So many of the things we take for granted would make this child's life.


Still, between the truly heartbreaking requests, there's hope.

This wish list was shared by the organization Dream Catchers for Abused Children, and as difficult as this is to read, the videos and pictures dealing with a child and sexual abuse are even worse.

Children are in need everywhere. Every 47 seconds a child is abused or neglected.

A 2014 report from the Children's Defense Fund's Annual State of America's Children reported that 1,825 children are abused or neglected each day in the U.S. These statistics are continuing to rise because, in 2016, the same organization found that 1,854 children are abused or neglected.

in 2018, the Children's Defense Fund found that 673,000 children were victims of abuse or neglect, where half of the cases involved children under the age of 7. Out of those cases, 435,052 children were in foster care and 41 percent of them were under the age of 6.


It's no wonder that on the wish list the Oklahoma foster child says, "Don't hit on me," "Don't kill my pets," and, "Don't sell my toys." Can you imagine having to ask for those things and not assume you can live in a house with "running water and lights"?

No wonder lots of foster children don't trust and are angry.

RELATED: Why A Couple In Their 20s Decided To Exclusively Foster Teenagers

How to Help a Foster Child

1. Provide respite.

This means one foster family caring for another family's foster children for a short amount of time.

2. Drive.

Many agencies need people to drive foster care kids to various appointments.

3. Walk.

Do a walking campaign to raise funds and awareness.


4. Become an advocate.

An advocate makes sure a child isn't lost in the system and helps to get their needs met.

5. Give a foster child their first job.

Giving someone work experience and the chance to earn money is a hugely valuable gift.

6. Donate.

You can give school supplies, toys, toothbrushes, soap, and other items to a children's home or foster care agency.


Let's hope that the wishes on this list came true for the Oklahoma foster child and that more foster children everywhere get their wishes granted as well. No one should have to use their wishes on having a clean house, nice shoes, or a mom and dad that do not fight. It's just sad.

RELATED: 12 Things To Know Before Adopting A Child

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in July 2015 and was updated with the latest information.

Christine Schoenwald is a writer and performer. She's had articles in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, and Woman's Day. Visit her website or her Instagram.