How long were you in care?
I was in care at about 2 years old, until I was 4 years old. I was then adopted, until I was removed from that adopted home due to abuse, at around 12. Starting at 12, I was in and out of foster homes, until I aged out at 18.
What obstacles were you able to overcome and how?
Too many obstacles to address. So I’ll stick to the obstacles I found to be most impactful. 1.) trusting people. It was hard for me to trust people, due to the many abusive situations I was in. But once I started trusting one person, who is now my wife, it allowed me to consider the possibility that maybe there were other people in this world that I could trust as well . It started with one person.
2.) Believing in myself. For the longest time in my life, I subscribed to the idea that I was just an unlucky foster kid, and that it was my fate to be forever unlucky. That is absolutely not true. I eventually realized, that I might have an upper hand in society, due to my ability to overcome hardships. The ability to overcome hardships, has allowed me to easily concur situations that most would find difficult.
What are some of your biggest accomplishments?
I have many!
Being able to trust people
Being a husband, and a Dad
Becoming a foster dad
My son was born blind, unable to walk, and is developmentally delayed. I proudly take care of him, and my other children. My biggest fear in life was that I wouldn’t be a good father. Crazy looking back now , probably my biggest accomplishment.
What kinds of people or programs might have made a positive influence on you when you were in care?
Talking to more people who aged out of the system. I think that would’ve had a huge impact on my confidence level.
How do you think others can best help to contribute to current foster kids needs?
More understanding, and moral support. Focusing more on giving these kids the confidence to realize, they have way more power than they realize. It’s simply, a shift in perspective!
What would you say to kids currently in care about their futures?
That focusing on the negative, simply creates more negative. Focus on the positive, creates more positive. And in order to shift the mindset from a more negative, to a more positive, takes time. Most things that are really worth living for, take time. Until one day you realize, it’s here. One advantage we have, is appreciating it once it is here.
Are you currently giving back to the foster community? If so, in what ways?
We give Christmas presents to the foster care office I grew up in. My wife and I were taking in foster kids, however due to my son’s medical complications we have since stopped. We intend to continue one day.
Would you be interested in working with us to benefit current kids in care?