My Lost Decade

Reflections on Ten Years in Foster Care and my life since.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Last week I spoke to a group of teens who are in foster care about the opportunities that have been given to me to speak out about the system, to attend college and to do other things that I never would have dreamed of doing when I was in care. It was a very exciting thing for me to get to do, as I am a firm believer in the power to improve the world by empowering future generations of leaders. I made it a point of telling them how much like them I was at their age and how all of the opportunities I was given are things that they too can get. This particular group is forming a speaker's bureau so that people can learn more about the foster care system from the people most knowledgable and most affected by it, the kids. I want them to know that they can achieve that goal and so much more.

One other thing that came out of me talking to this group is that one of my best friends, who has been an excellent public speaker since high school and has only gotten better since, came along to meet the group. She decided to help them with their public speaking preparations and other related things. This friend was never in foster care, but she is one of the most compassionate people that I have ever met. As soon as I started talking to her about my non-profit, this speaker's bureau and the like, she was ready and willing to help out. I cannot say what an immense asset she will be to this group, with her knowledge, passionate speaking, empathetic nature...and, oh yeah...she is a certified sign language interpreter, so now they can reach deaf audiences as well. I am so happy that she is doing this, it makes me want to cry.

This friend of mine is truly an amazing woman. She has popped up in a couple of my other posts. She is 23, but her younger brother is only 9 and she is the one listed to care for him if anything ever happens to her mom, which she has taken very much to heart. Should she ever be called upon to fulfill this duty (God forbid, cause her mom is awesome and I want her around forever) she wants to do it to her fullest capabilities and so she has been planning her financial assets around that. In addition, she is in charge of her company's charitable donations and she really gets into that. Her company sponsors a family year-round and my friend is in charge of getting them what they need. Also, she is a girlscout leader, a volleyball coach and an awesome friend. I count myself really lucky to have her in my life.

Other than the speaker's bureau...what does this have to do with foster care? Someday, she wants to be a foster mom! Won't that be amazing?! She is exactly the kind of person I would have loved to have had for a foster mom when I was a kid. I cannot wait until the time comes when she is ready to do that. She will be great.


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