“Not adoptable: My journey from foster care to family”

By Candice C., Children’s Rights Young Professionals Leadership Council Member

Did you know?

Today in the United States there are an estimated half a million children languishing in foster care.

They are waiting. Waiting to be safe. Waiting to be healthy.
Waiting for a kind word and loving home. Waiting to see their siblings.
Waiting for tomorrow to be better than today.

I used to be one of those children.

Will you take a few moments to hear my story?

When most people think of childhood, they think of playgrounds, after-school clubs and play dates. They remember special family gatherings and birthday parties.

When I think of my childhood, I think of how I lost everything and everyone I cared about at age 5 when I went into Florida’s foster care system.

And how, through a chance meeting with a kind soul, I made it through and am now working with Children’s Rights to make sure that no other child ever has to suffer the way I did.

Will you make a difference today by donating to Children’s Rights? Your gift will sponsor urgent legal action and national advocacy to protect our country’s most vulnerable children.

I’m proud to write to you on behalf of Children’s Rights where I now serve on the Young Professionals Leadership Council.
Please make a contribution at whatever amount you can to help Children’s Rights ensure that no other child will suffer the way
I did in America’s foster care system. Please show me, and the thousands of others like me, that you care and that we are not alone.

My story

When I was five years old I entered into foster care because neither my mother nor my father was able to safely raise me and my two siblings.

With the separation came worry, concern, anger and defiance. With no special training on how to manage children’s trauma, my foster family did not know how to handle my behavior and asked me to be removed.

In just a few short months I had lost my mother, father, sister and brother and entered into a revolving door of unstable foster placements for the next four and a half years. By the 11th home I was labeled ‘not adoptable.’

Children’s Rights uses strategic legal action and advocacy to improve foster care systems so that kids can develop
resilience and build better futures.

As our country struggles with an opioid crisis that is destroying families and tearing apart entire communities, children are pouring into already strained foster care systems. This is happening today all over the country as we
reckon with a massive public health crisis of addiction.

We need to act NOW. Thousands of children are entering state foster care systems with severe psychological trauma and PTSD. With limited supports for foster families, many states do not invest enough in training foster families
how to effectively support and manage children’s trauma, leading to excessive burnout of well-meaning foster parents and kids’ roller coaster rides through the very system meant to protect them.

My story continues…

I began to realize that I would survive, but not flourish, and would need strength to overcome. Through a chance encounter with a temporary childcare provider, I was eventually adopted by a wonderful and loving person. The second I stepped into my adoptive mother’s home, I knew I was safe to run around, play, eat a piece of fruit if I wanted to and ask for more food without being scolded. I was home.

This was the beginning of a lifelong commitment to improving foster care systems for all children. I support Children’s Rights and hope that you will too.

Will you join me?

Sincerely,

Candice

p.s. Please be as generous as you possibly can. Every dollar makes a difference.