Thursday, April 6, 2006
That's Just Wrong: Foster
As if leaving your parents in Haiti isn't horrifying enough. Tonight, one south Florida teen fears her future is in limbo. She claims she can't go to college because her aunt refuses to return her immigration papers. Now, she tells tom haynes that's just wrong.
WSVN--Some people dream of money or fame, but all 17 year old Dayana Joseph ever wanted was a family.
Dayana Joseph: "I was travel here from Haiti to America when I was nine years old."
After Dayana moved to Miami, she lived with her aunt.
But instead of receiving the attention and affection every child needs, she claims she was abused.
Dayana Joseph: "It will get so bad that it will make me not want to eat. And just think about depression and what I will do to myself."
And that's why last year Dayana packed up in the middle of the night and left.
Dayana Joseph: "I took up two pair of clothes and basically the one pair of shoes I was wearing and that was it."
Fortunately for Dayana, her teacher Ida... Not only opened her heart.
Dayana Joseph: "I said Lord can I do this, do I want to do this. I don't even know her."
But her home.
Ida: "My heart went out because I always had girls. And, I had Lita so this would be a good pair for Lita to show Dayana how to grow up."
And for the first time Dayana knew what it was like to live in a real family.
Dayana Joseph: "If I'm sad or something my teacher will talk to me and encourage me. Especially with school work and everything else that's been going on."
But with high school graduation two months away, Dayana still can't focus on her future without resolving her past.
In order to go to college, she needs legal documents left in her aunt's home.
Dayana Joseph: "It goes from my birth certificate, to my alien card to my social and everything else that is documentation wise. And, who has that? My Aunt."
Dayana was so determined, she even convinced DCF to go to court on her behalf.
Dayana Joseph: "The court ordered her to give any possession of my documents. And she never turned it into the courts. So she is refusing to turn it up."
She may be refusing to give it up, but Dayana's refusing to stop fighting.
Now, she says that's just wrong.
Dayana Joseph: "She's trying to take like a, oh I'm still me, I'm still the bad person and I'm still in charge. I'll show you."
Seven News wanted to contact the aunt on Dayana's behalf, but she told us her brother still lives there and doesn't want to cause trouble for him.
When we talked to DCF, they couldn't comment specifically on Dayana's case...
But told us in a situation like this the legal staff can help children get duplicate paperwork. And Dayana says they have offered to help her do just that.
Now, Dayana says she's just glad to be moving forward in a normal family.
Dayana Joseph: "Once you have people who cares about you. You don't think about it as much. Because, like it changes, like from a bad environment to a better environment."
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