My life in foster care in Virginia
My teenage life in Foster Care
I'm strong, I'm powerful, I'm a mom, and I aged out of Foster Care.
For me, being in foster care was completely exhausting. I say exhausting because every day, I woke up wondering if that was the day I was going to have to move, yet again, to another foster home. I woke up having to be careful of everything I did and said for fear of being rejected by another foster family.
I was labeled a "troubled child" and a "difficult child" because of the issues I had due to having to move once a year (sometimes three times a year).
It got worse once I became a teenager. Nobody wanted to take me in. Foster parents seem only to want babies. So when they're asked to take in a teenager, they panic.
They automatically assume that every foster teenager is rebellious and won't follow their rules. Honestly, that is probably true, but wouldn't you be rebellious too if every single "home" you were in made you feel unwanted and threw you out the second they felt like it?
I felt like a piece of garbage that my so-called foster parents could get rid of at any time for no reason whatsoever.
Yes, I did have my issues, but I wouldn't have had near as many if someone had just given me a chance.
I just needed the chance to love and to be loved. I needed an opportunity to be a part of a family that wanted me and was willing to work through the bad times.
So, please, if you're thinking about fostering, consider taking in a teenager and giving them a chance to thrive. Help them overcome all their obstacles. Help them not to become just another statistic. Show them they deserve love and a family just as much as that cute little baby.
Show them what family actually means.
"Being in Foster Care is Exhausting."
Young people who enter foster care already have a lot on their plate. Dealing with a system that turns away from them shouldn't be something these children and youth should also have to deal with.
As the story above explains, teens in foster care have a hard time finding permanent placements with patient, caring, and kind foster families. They're more likely to age out of the system, which can lead to higher rates of teen pregnancy and incarceration. It also decreases their chances of earning a high school diploma.
All children in foster care should have equal opportunities to be placed in a loving home that cares for them and their development.
If you want to provide a nurturing environment to a healing teen in foster care, click the link above.