My first foster sibling was a little boy named Glenn. He was 6 and looked oh-so angelic with his dark hair and shining eyes. Little did we know that those eyes were shining with crazy.
Glenn lasted about 3 months with us. From the day he arrived, strange things started happening. We were missing a few chickens. The dogs were constantly out of food and water. Some butter knives weren’t in their usual spots.
Before the state will allow you to take care of one of its children, your house must be completely “safe”: all sharp utensils locked up, all cleaning supplies/poisons must be locked up, and all medications must be locked up.
We had a large box of cutting knives at the very top of a cupboard that ran to the ceiling, locked, of course. These knives seemed to escape once in a while. At first, we thought we were leaving them out accidentally, which is a big no-no around foster children. We would carefully put them back in their rightful homes, ready for the next meal preparation. They kept escaping.
Finally, one night my mom heard something from the kitchen before she fell asleep (her bedroom was right next to the kitchen). She went to investigate and found Glenn walking about the first floor of the house wielding a large butcher knife. The 6 year old had climbed the counter to the cupboard, pulled out the box, somehow picked the lock, and got off on walking around the house with a knife all night. Normally, he would then lock the box again (how?), put it back in its place, and go back to his bedroom just before dawn to sleep the next couple of hours before school.
We called the social worker about this, and she suggested locking Glenn up in his room every night and install an intercom so he could notify one of us if he needed to go to the bathroom. My mom agreed to do this, and that day, we put a deadbolt on the door, unlockable only with a key. Glenn was okay with this for about 2 seconds. He threw a fit, and my mom tried to explain to him how this was for his own protection, etc. He seemed to calm down after that, so we proceeded with the nightly routine.
About 4am my mom wakes up to a little boy strangling her in bed. Mom, being at least 6’ tall and v. strong, immediately pins Glenn to the ground and calls the social worker. The social worker tells us that this is sometimes normal and that Glenn is just “getting used” to being in a stable environment. Not to be one taken twice, my mom takes Glenn back to the children’s home in the morning. After a day of speaking with a counselor, Glenn confesses to killing 5 of our chickens and throwing them either in the next-door neighbor’s pond or over the fence onto the property of the Mormon church. At least he got something right. Mom decides that maybe this isn’t the best kid for us. We leave Glenn at the children’s home.