The following was shared with us by a young woman who was previously in our foster care program. She highlights the impact her foster mother and Hearts & Homes for Youth had on her healing and growth.
I grew up living with my parents until age 9. At that time, my older sister stepped in and placed me in foster care due to the way my parents were living and their inability to take care of me. My sister wanted me to be in a better place. When I entered foster care, I was placed in a Baltimore City home where I was bullied, humiliated by the foster parents, and made to feel less than human. Luckily, I was removed from that foster home and was placed with Hearts and Homes for Youth at the age of 12.
I’m so grateful to have had Hearts & Homes come into my life because without them I wouldn’t have met some of the people I had. The biggest impact in my life was my foster mom, because she allowed me to be myself. She opened up not only her heart but her home as well. While I was there, I started healing from my past. She helped me cope with my parents’ death and allowed me to stay with her after I aged out of foster care when I turned 21. She is the reason I learned to become the woman I am and I couldn’t imagine life without her. I couldn’t have asked for a better mom.
Hearts & Homes worked with me through my ups and downs. They never treated me like part of the system; they always treated me as though I mattered and was not just a number. They helped me reach my goals and let me know that I can be anything and do anything I set my mind to.
I think foster parents should know that all we really need is attention and love, just like if we were your own child.
Every single person I’ve met at Hearts & Homes for Youth has taught me something, even through simple words of encouragement. They taught me that life is full of challenges and opportunities, and even as an adult you still need help.
I now work as a retail sales associate at a beauty supply store and I am also an author of my own books that will be published in the coming months. I got married and joined a church that my husband and I enjoy going too, and I have no regrets about my past. I learned forgiveness on my journey, perseverance, and more importantly, to never be afraid to ask questions. I’m not perfect but I enjoy the life God has given me. I know now how short life can be. I’m grateful for everything.
Foster parents can make an incredible difference in a young person’s life. Click here if you are you ready to accept the challenge and be the change.