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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Someone Has Led This Child To Believe

  • Author(s): Louise, Regina
  • Advisor(s): Straight, Susan
  • et al.


SOMEONE HAS LED THIS CHILD TO BELIEVE is a true story and continuation of the best-selling memoir Somebody’s Someone. After 12 year-old Regina Louise, tired of being beaten, battles and escapes an illegal guardian; she jumps from a two-story window and runs to a local police station where she is taken into custody, locked in a holding cell, and delivered to the Edgar Children’s Shelter, in Martinez California. Regina is closed off about her parents, her past…until she meets Jeanne Kerr, a 31 year-old counselor who she bonds with and begins to trust. Gwen Forde, the unit supervisor notices Regina’s curious interest in Jeanne and directs Jeanne to get the otherwise sullen and reluctant girl to share her secrets of her parents’ whereabouts. Regina tells Jeanne that neither her father nor her mother wants her. She provides her fathers name.

Regina and Jeanne’s relationship continues to deepen, contrary to Gwen’s cautions, and when Regina is eventually moved to a foster home, she escapes and finds her way back to Jeanne by counting light posts alongside the freeway. Jeanne realizes that she has fallen in love with this child and makes arrangements to adopt her. In the meantime, Regina is placed with yet another foster family where she is attacked and nearly raped

As Jeanne’s desire to adopt Regina intensifies, Gwen works to derail the adoption, feeling that it isn’t right. Jeanne loses the adoption petition and Regina, now 15, is court-ordered to Guideways, a level 14 residential treatment center/mental institution. She is drugged, restrained, and placed in solitary confinement. At Guideways, Regina learns that Jeanne has moved away and, devastated, she attempts to commit suicide. After she recovers and is placed back into solitary confinement, Regina finally lets go of the hope of ever being reunited with Jeanne.

After being released from Guideways, Regina finally decides to take responsibility for herself as she enrolls in San Francisco State University and develops a business plan for her future. She graduates, builds a thriving hair salon business, and writes a book about her childhood in foster care, and about her relationship with the one influential adult in her life – Jeanne. After twenty-seven years of estrangement, Regina finds Jeanne, while on her book tour and they embrace. Jeanne finally adopts Regina in same courtroom that denied her original petition 27 years prior.

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