Foster care is not fun or easy. Its honestly one of the most heartbreaking yet life-changing experiences... Heart breaking in the sense that you are taken away from the only mom you've ever known at odd hours of the night because your neighbors called the police because they heard screaming and yelling and they were pretty sure the kid next door was being abused so the cops call cps (child protective services) and they come and take you away... While , yes, your mother has been beating you senseless and many nights have gone by as you watch her sleep because she's drugged herself, contemplating running away at 8 years old, she is your mother, the only mother you've ever known, and although she hasn't done jack for you, you still love her, and your 8 year old brain cannot comprehend why you're being taken away from her because you are not aware that the way she treats you is not normal, because it’s the only way you know and to you its normal... Life changing I'm the sense that you learn what normal is. (If there is even such a thing as normal)... I did not become a foster kid at 8 years old but that was the first time I was ever taken from my mom... My dad went to prison when I was 7 for rape and DHR had been a thing in my life ever since, I got taken away from my mom the first time when I was 8 because a neighbor reported child abuse and they took me away that night... I went to my aunt’s house but I acted there, so I got sent to trinity hospital... And that's when my journey began... I'm not gonna go into full detail about my life because well its quite depressing instead I'm going to give people advice... Not that I'm the best advice giver but these are my views on foster care and hopefully someone will find them useful...

To foster kids and future foster kids...

Never give up... While yes life is full of downfalls and change and stress and you name it... It is also beautiful... I know you have so much hatred towards so many people in your life but I promise they are not worth your precious time... You have to get up wipe your hands clean and move... It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to scream, it's okay to feel like you have no control, because trust me with DHR in your life you won't have much control but you can control much more than you think... Go into each home with an open-mind I only wish I had... My journey would've been a lot easier... Approach each home with a smile no matter how bad you want to cry, COMMUNICATE!!! I cannot stress that enough, if some things not right talk to you therapist, social worker, foster mom... Anybody... They are there for you... It may not always seem like it but they are... I'm crying like a baby right now because I'm hurting for your future...I only wish someone would have given me this advice because I would've been so much better off... Talk to your foster parents... They are only human, not mind readers... They don't know what's wrong unless you tell them... You can't get the help you need unless you speak up... And if you're as hardheaded and as stubborn as me you probably believe that you don't need help, but trust me you do... You are carrying so much more than you realize and if you hold it all in you’re gonna explode and that usually ends badly... Take it from me... I’ve been in your shoes... I've walked that road... It’s dark it’s scary... But all these people... Utilize them... They are here for you!!! They love you!!! And they want only the best for you... You are a star!!! You can let life make you or break you, but I pray you let it make you because I love success stories, they are the only stories worth reading and I want to read yours!!! So don't give... Keep your held high a smile on your face and an open mind and you will go places!  ☺

To foster kids and future foster kids...from a former foster youth who recently aged out.

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