I use the term "mother" loosely because I don't consider the woman to be my mother. My younger brother and I went to live with her, her husband, and her two children when I was three. My adoption wasn't final until I was twelve, for some reason, and I've never gotten a straight answer from anyone, including the state foster care/adoption system. So my brother and I were foster children for nine years, and we had maybe one caseworker visit after we were dropped off for the first time. I am a supporter of adoption and foster parenting, but my own experience in the system didn't turn out so well. I suffered physical abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, and medical neglect as a foster/adopted child.
The "parents" of mine were the "good on paper" kind. Nice house, married, two kids already, big yard, stable income, avid churchgoers, and so on. What didn't show to the untrained eye was new mommy's temper and all-around craziness. As it turns out, new mommy was crazier than a shithouse rat.
I cut contact with all of my "family" in 2006. After years of trying to have a healthy relationship with the parent-entities, I learned that they were abusive to my children. That did it. I haven't spoken to anyone of them since August 2006, and I only wish I had done it years earlier.