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By 3rd grade Tommy, it’s hard and painful to say, but you have been through a lot. All of the foster homes, motel rooms, crisis centers, living with different relatives and friends, many schools and parental incarcerations will take a toll on your emotions. Life will seem unfair at times.

Hey, hey none of that stuff! Wipe those tears off your face! There’s no time for that. Aunt Milly needs you to be tough for all of the younger kids in the house. You have to be a big boy for your two siblings and your three younger cousins. Yes, I know it’s a lot, but she rescued you, Martin, and Carmen from the foster home-­‐ you now have to try to step up to the plate and do your part. I told you I know, yes, even as a 3rd grader you need to man up. Plus, today is the day you get to go see mom. I know it’s been a while. Almost 2 years to be exact. So a lot of people are depending on you to keep it together. Hey, hey I said no more tears! You can’t give up; you have to keep going. Even as a 3rd grader, you have to learn how to simply smile and keep going.

Plus, your siblings Carmen and Martin will be depending on you to be big brother when you arrive to see mom at the prison-­‐which I know that you don’t get or understand. Seeing mom in shackles will be very difficult and heart breaking. But you have to be strong. I know you are feeling lots of pressure,
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