Stories told by Former Foster Children – Clemmie Tony Brazil
November 19, 2010
Another amazing former foster child submits story……..
Separated As Kids, Founded by Faith
Date: March 7, 1993
Tony Brazil, is a true hero to his three sisters? No he didn’t save they there, but Tony put theirs and his back together again, against all odds. Until two weeks ago, 25 –year-old Tony Brazil, and his sisters Doris, 26; Christine, 23 and Gloria, 24; had legally separated from each other for the past 12 years. It was painful period in their lives, not knowing if the others needed help, or were even alive. But this Rocky Mount family held out hope through the power of God, and love, that one day they would find each other again.
Despite having both a mother and father when they were young, Tony says family wasn’t what you’d expect. Neither parent was around much, leaving the four young siblings, plus their baby brother Michael, at home alone many times. This almost cost them their lives, when Tony m then 5, set fire to the house one night in 1973. No one was hurt, but not being able to tell the police where their parents were got all five shipped out to foster homes. For years, the siblings moved from one foster home to another, always
Going back and forth to Social Services. But at least they could be together. Foster parents usually wanted babies, so Tony had the most difficult time being placed. But even that experience couldn’t prepare him for what happen 12 years ago. “ On a Monday morning, all five of u shad to go to court, with our mother up on the stand. And they asked her, Do you want (your children)?” and she said, No,” Tony remembers.
With their mother’s rejection, the siblings cried, knowing now that they’d be separated from each other forever. Christine and Gloria were lucky enough to be raised in the same home n Sanford, but the rest would be scattered to different towns, in different counties. Over the years, all of the sibling’s last names were changed when they were adopted, with exception of Tony, who came up hard in foster homes? Letters they would write to each other had to be given to Social Services, who would deliver them, but wouldn’t allow return address. Frustrated, as the siblings grew older, they stopped writing, but never stopped dreaming of finding one another. It was 1987 before Tony and Doris found each other again. She was senior in high school, and pregnant.
They always talk about Christine, Gloria and Michael, wondering where they could be, and if they would want to be found. Seven years later last Jan. 14; tragedy struck, as Doris Husband and the father of her two children died of complications from diabetes. She was now a mother alone and she needed Tony more than ever. Doris and I got closer then, because I promised to take care of her and the children. But what prompted me to find my sisters was to make Doris happy, because when a life is taken, something is gained back, “Tony said. So two weeks ago after getting home from his overnight job, Tony couldn’t get to sleep. He heard a voice telling him to get up, and find Christine and Gloria in Sanford. He drove from Raleigh, and spent an hour and a half riding around Sanford, asking people if they knew his sisters. Finally, he found Gloria’s home, and when she drove up with her boyfriend, Tony was waiting, still not sure if she’d want to meet her older brother again after all these years. At first, Gloria refused to believe it was Tony. But when hr reminded her of the nickname she used to call him, “Pumpkin,” she broke down in tears and hugged him. This was her brother. Soon, she called Christine at work to share the joy, and even more tears of happiness were shed when they all went to see Doris in Rocky Mount. I cried for 30 minutes, “ Never thought it would happen” Doris recalls. By press time, Michael now 22 hadn’t been located, but Tony believes they’ll see him in time. There is another sister Nikki Nicole Henderson, daughter of their father by another woman, who will not share in the joy. At 22, she was killed in car accident last year. And as for their mother, even though she’s since seen them all together again, Tony says she refuses to acknowledge what has happened, the pain that they ‘ve suffered, and her responsibility for it.
It’s what Gloria says she’s always dreamed of, and now makes her feel complete. That’s why she wrote a poem to her brother Tony. “Tony, you are my hero, no because you found us, but because you never gave up.”
Clemmie Tony Brazil
C.Tony Brazil Jr.