Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Whitney Lam Gilliard and I am the Co-Founder and Chair of Gilliard and Company. You may recognize me from congressional advocacy forums, foster care reform articles, foster care awareness podcasts, and many other platforms that surrounds foster care.
I have a huge heart naturally for children as I am a mother myself. But I also have a deep rooted history with foster care becuase I was raised by the foster care system during my teen years. As a child in the system, I have always cried wondering why I was trapped in what felt like the 'time warp continuum" of bouncing around places to live. Now that I am an adult and on the other side providing services with different outreach, I find peace knowing that what I went through was for G&Co's existence and so that other will never go through what I went through.
Many says what I do is brave... speaking up about my abuse and advocating for others. I must admit, I don't always feel very brave doing this... but I also don't think that anyone while doing something brave- ever feels brave? So if you are an advocate too and hesistate on speaking up... honey, do it. You are braver than you think.
This blog was created because many have approached me to write a book. One woman in particular during an evening where I was the guest speaker and I emphasised on what family looks like when you're in foster care, came up to me right before I left and handed me a note. She told me "this is what God is moving my heart to tell you". I held onto that note and cried on our drive home, telling my husband how I couldn't believe that coming from the kid who wasn't worthy of a "nice family" is now asked to write books. This blog is for you, the woman who held the note in my hand.
I must admit that I am still pondering on when will be a good time to write a book. But this blog will be a good place to start. I hope you all enjoy this blog. Please provide feedback! Every time you join my blog you will be asked to please consider donating to our cause, I hope that we can all read and make a difference together. I can't believe we are starting this! So scary but so exciting! Here we go!
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.