Growing up in foster care... things don't mean the same to me, as it does for others who weren't affected by the system.
Yes, I love pumpkin spice- the cool breeze (or as cool as it can get in GA), feels so nice. But the nostalgia isn't about the beauty of Autumn. My heart feels the most anxiety around this time of year. Around this time of year, when I was in foster care- I had the least visits, the saddest people around me, and there's this beating fear that Dr@NadineBurkeHarris talks about...
Fall is not the same for a "foster kid". The wisp of the fall air is nearly a siren for us to start begging for homes and shelter to go to- because oh yeah, the campus isn't open all year for the ones with no family. It's an SOS for the kids who are lingering in care, wondering what type of cruelty we are going to be subjected to this year (being ignored by family members, devasting reminders, abusive words, becoming ostracized, etc).
So toast up with the pumpkin spice... here's to the ones like me, who felt the reaping of fall that reminded us of the times when love was just as bare as the branches on the trees.
Living over 18 places has taught me that every child deserves a home. Being a survivor of child abuse has taught me that every child needs to be heard. Growing up in foster care has taught me to bloom where I am planted. Being a mother and a wife has taught me to be resilient. Operating a charity has taught me that people really do want to help. Providing homes for youth in care has taught me that bad days does not mean a bad life. Advocating for children has taught me to be brave.