How A Man I Have Never Met Saved My Life

Who Will Cry for the Little Boy?

Who will cry for the little boy?

Lost and all alone.

Who will cry for the little boy?

Abandoned without his own?

Who will cry for the little boy?

He cried himself to sleep.

Who will cry for the little boy?

He never had for keeps.

Who will cry for the little boy?

He walked the burning sand.

Who will cry for the little boy?

The boy inside the man.

Who will cry for the little boy?

Who knows well hurt and pain.

Who will cry for the little boy?

He died again and again.

Who will cry for the little boy?

A good boy he tried to be.

Who will cry for the little boy?

Who cries inside of me?

– Antwone Fisher

In a time when I was bouncing from foster home to foster home, a time when I did not understand the emotions I was feeling or how to express them, a time when I was lost and faced with making the right or wrong decisions that would decide what path I would go down for the rest of my life, I was introduced to this poem.

After my eighth grade year, I had just been kicked out of my fourth foster home in three years. During these first couple years in foster care I hated going to counseling, as I previously stated I did not understand the emotions I was feeling and did not know how to express them to a complete stranger who kept prodding me as to the why for my actions and feelings.

I did not know why I kept stealing food out of the kitchen late at night – it wasn’t that I was hungry. I did not know why in school it was hard for me to make friends or why some days I was a model student and other days I would have an outburst or completely zone out in class.  I was eager for attention and acceptance but I did not want to open up to anybody to actually be accepted.

Then while in the car riding from Charleston to Columbia on my way to my first group home, my case worker handed me a DVD copy of the movie Antwone Fisher. He told me give this movie a watch because Antwone had gone through the foster care system just as I had and did not respond well to counseling at first either.

Let me take a step back for those of you who don’t know who Antwone Fisher is and give you a quick synopsis:

Antwone was born in the Ohio Women’s Correction Facility to his mother who was in jail. His father was killed prior to him being born and Antwone was placed in foster care until his mother got out of jail. When she got out, his mother did not claim him so Antwone was in the foster care system his entire childhood. After bouncing around foster homes, he ended up in a home where he was physically and sexually abused. After foster care he joined the Navy and following a couple of behavioral outbursts he was referred to counseling. Antwone did not do well with counseling at first because he did not see the point in going but after finally opening up he was able to fight through some of his demons, confront his past, find the love of his life, and was able to find peace. Antwone is now an award winning author and poet, as well as a Hollywood movie director.

During the movie, Antwone recites the poem above to his therapist. At 16 years old with a range of emotions and confusion, this poem struck me like a bolt of lightning. Someone else had been through many of the same trials and tribulations I had and through counseling had come out on top.

After watching the movie I read his books Finding Fish and Who Will Cry for the Little Boy. I was obsessed with Antwone, and still am to this day. I have his poem posted in my office right in front of my desk so I see it on a daily basis and I have his books on my bookshelf. I still get butterflies in my stomach when I watch the movie Antwone Fisher, read this poems, or reread his books. If you have never watched this movie or read his books, I highly recommend you do so – Antwone is such an inspiration.

I read an article the other day entitled Bad Things Don’t Happen to Good People, Bad Things Create Good People and I think Antwone is a perfect example of this.

Antwone now lives in Los Angeles and has a beautiful family. While I have never had the honor of meeting him nor does he have any clue who I am, Antwone’s story saved my life and for that I will always be grateful.


 Antwone Fisher (2002)

Watch the Movie Trailer Here:

Daniel was in the foster care system in South Carolina from ages 11 to 19 years old, where he lived in nine foster homes and two group homes. After aging out of foster care, Daniel received his bachelors and masters degrees and now works at a nearby university. Prior to this, Daniel worked for social services helping children in foster care. Daniel is now passionate about sharing his experiences with others, to inspire more families to foster children. Follow his posts to learn what it is like being a child in foster care!

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