Imagine this: you are a young child put into a strange place, with people you don’t know, with no timeline of how long you’ll be there. You are supposed to rely on these people to feed you, provide safety and shelter. It is hard for me to imagine, but I am sure these children feel somewhat uneasy and scared.
I believe there is a special place in heaven for the families that take in children who are in need of a home and a family. However, studies show that children in foster care suffer from a lot of mental and physical health issues.
Compared with children in homes with married parents, children in foster care are more likely to suffer from malnutrition, learning disabilities, anxiety/depression, alcohol and drug abuse, difficulty in school and finding employment (AAP).
If you think about it, this makes since, because children placed in foster care are coming from unstable homes. They most likely went into foster care with some of these issues already, but evidence suggests children suffer from mental health issues even after adjusting to new homes.
Today’s Surviving and Thriving story is from Kennedy, a former foster care child. This story is important because it shares the perspective from a former foster care child’s point of view. I believe Kennedy’s story can help give insight for those who are becoming foster parents, and also provide connection for people who have been in foster care as children themselves.
Here is her story.
The significant experience I had in my life was moving away from my family a lot as a child. For several years, I didn’t live with them. I moved into foster care as a child and aged out at 18 years old. I lived with distant family members and people I didn’t even know. It was a scary time in my life for sure.
Will I see my family again? When? How long? Those are the thoughts that ran through my head. I would attend court hearings often and would ask the judge, “where am I going next?”
Foster care is something that even today I cannot always put into words. I am thankful that I had a wonderful foster parent and good people that lived there. However, it didn’t change the fact that I didn’t know what was going to happen next.
My experience has impacted my life a lot. I lost significant time with my family that I should have had, especially as a child. Now that I’m an adult, I am trying to make it up as much as I can. I soak up the time I have with family and never let a moment slip by.
I went to a lot of counseling sessions when I was younger. I needed help with anxiety, fear, sadness, and depression. I was down and out a lot. I felt alone and like I didn’t have anyone. Sometimes it seemed like life wasn’t worth living.
Along the way, I did make some good friends that helped me through tough times and never gave up on me. Friends that were always by my side and always rooted for me. I do see my family a decent amount now thanks to Jesus! Without Him, I honestly do not know where I would be right now.
My experience has affected my parenting style in several ways. I am cognizant of who my kids are around and what they are doing. I am very protective of them and I never let them out of my sight.
If I could give advice to someone in my shoes or struggling to overcome a similar situation…..Don’t give up! It seems like life is tough and yes, it is, but there is so much more than the moment we are in. There were several times I wanted to give up. I thank God every day that I didn’t and that no one allowed me to.
I am now married to the love of my life and together we have two beautiful children. I stay at home with my kids and work from home. I strive every day to be a better mom. I make sure my kids know from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed, that with Jesus, all things are possible. Even overcoming a hardship that seems impossible.
To dig deeper into Kennedy’s story, check out this post on her blog.
My name is Kennedy and I run MomSavedByGrace. I grew up fast and fell in love with writing. This is my outlet and my way to connect with others in my shoes. At the age of 18, I was saved. I confessed my sins to Jesus and I was forever changed. I shortly after became a mom and that is how momsavedbygrace came out. I love to write about parenting and Christianity and strive to live the best life while sharing the love of Jesus.
Connect with Kennedy
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