Escarleth: Beautiful and broken

Originally posted November 21, 2013

By Amber Foster


Escarleth fills and breaks my heart more than almost any of the teens. She is absolutely beautiful and so very hungry for love. I have had many conversations with a friend of mine who has known her since she was a small child about who she used to be. My friend Ana tells stories about Escarleth being the princess of the government run children’s home where she lived. With beautiful dresses and bows in her hair the workers doted on her, as much as they do on anyone.

But then she began adolescence and her developing body drew too much attention. Escarleth suffered repeated abuse that we pray our children never even learn exists. Then she withdrew into her shell. She did everything in her power to “be” a boy. She took on a tough, violent exterior, cut her hair and started dressing in boys’ clothes. She ran away from the children’s home where she was being abused and took up a life on the streets.

Her mother was a prostitute and crack addict and she knew the streets well. Escarleth began a downward spiral into addiction, theft, and pain that she has struggled to break for the past three years. Escarleth has been in and out of our facility repeatedly, each time taking a little more of our hearts with her.

At the end of the summer, Escarleth moved back in. She began taking barber classes and working on learning how to read. Escarleth just finished her classes and has a job lined up selling clothing starting December 1st. She is so very proud of her accomplishments.

Despite her rough exterior, Escarleth is one of the sweetest girls I know. She desperately seeks approval and love from us. We often find her coloring or making crafts with the little ones as she seeks to hold on to some of the childhood she lost.