Reflections from the Heart: A Foster Care Awareness Month Series

"I'm sure you (the reader) are aware of the foster care statistics. Most of us end up homeless or in prison by the time we are 18. I aged out of foster care May 20, 2017. In December of 2016, I began to get scared. I knew by May I would no longer have DHR on my side. I was juggling two jobs and college with no vehicle and my mental health wasn't at its peak. I had ignorantly taken myself off of my medication believing that I could handle my mental health on my own, but I was quickly sliding downhill into the pit of depression. But I still continued not taking my meds and lying to my caseworker telling her that I had been going to my psychiatrist’s appointments and taking my medication. In my head I would be completely independent by May and I needed to learn to do that without medication. Medication in my opinion was just a prop. I had been taking meds since I was 5 years old and didn't realize how they actually helped me.

As the months flew by and it started getting closer to my 21st birthday, I began to panic. There was a lady that I had gotten really close to who was a nurse at a behavioral facility I was in when I was 12 and we had been talking and she wanted to adopt me. I wasn't comfortable with the idea to begin with. I had even told DHR years ago that I never want to be adopted. I had never really had a real family and the thought of having a family that wasn't mine baffled me. I just never believed anyone could love me, especially like a daughter. I didn't even know how to be a daughter. My only mother/daughter experiences had been quite painful and in my brain if my own biological mom can't love me then no one truly can. But this lady and I had grown very close. I claimed her as my mom and her daughter as my sister. I went with the idea of her adopting me, because I knew that as soon as DHR was no longer in my life, I would be homeless."  TO BE CONTINUED......
                                                                                        - Cheyenne Thomas


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