Living in the Gray

By Manny Gray

As I reminisce about my past, I remember a child who was lonely and afraid, who longed for a family, but mostly, wanted nothing more than to be loved. I was brought into this world with few options. My parents separated before I was born. My mom fell into drugs, and fell in love with […]

Becoming Worthy: How Unconditional Love Changed Everything

By Lauren Mueller

We escaped from my mother’s abusive second husband in the middle of the night – just me, my little sister, my mother and our dog in a small black coupe. After more than a year of severe physical and emotional abuse, my mother couldn’t take it. We drove cross country, Ohio to Colorado. When we […]

How College Saved Me from the Streets

By Kristopher Sharp

The many years I spent growing up in foster care took away any chance I had at a normal life. During my time in the system I lived in over 20 different homes – sometimes moving every 6 to 8 months – never staying in one place long enough to create support systems, build community […]

Sweet Silver Lining

By Diane Strain

The first ten years of my life were like riding a roller coaster with a blindfold on, not knowing when the next tragic event was going to take place. Growing up I didn’t always have the best luck. I was not dealt a royal flush. I was raised by a single mother along with my […]

The Race of My Life: A Runaway Kid’s Story

By David G. Daniels

I am a former foster youth from Houston; I spent years in state care. My story is like many others, but with a little twist. I was born a “drug baby” and was placed into child protective services (CPS) immediately upon my arrival into this world. My parents were drug addicts, and my father abused […]

No Longer a Victim

By Crystal Bentley

My name is Crystal Bentley and I’m 23 years old. Most people would say that I am too young to have truly lived. The truth is that I have lived plenty. I grew up in foster care and while some foster youth, if lucky, have fairly normal childhoods, the great majority of us struggle. I […]

Every Child

By Rita Soronen President & CEO, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Every child deserves a home. Yet the child welfare system does not have a sound record of developing best practices for serving children and youth waiting to be adopted who have been identified as “difficult to place” — older youth, children with mental or physical challenges, children in sibling groups, children of a minority culture […]

A Reflection on My Time in Care

By David Inglish

On February 5, I aged out of Washington State’s Foster Care to 21 Program. Ten years of foster care, and on this day I was finally leaving for good. Now that I was 21, exiting seemed uneventful, not like when I was poised to age out at 18. Before I signed the contract to extend […]

Long Lost Sisters

By Latoya Lennard

I can remember clearly when Jaylin was born. I was 8 years old. I was at a babysitter’s house, and when my grandmother came to pick me up, she told me that I had a little sister. I already had two younger brothers, so I was ecstatic. My grandmother adopted me, and had custody of […]

A Rebel WITH a Cause

By Kim Larson

I vividly remember the day that I went to live with my foster parents, and the shame and guilt I felt as we stood in their garage and went through my clothes. My foster mother held them up in the light, and her jaw dropped at the rips and holes. She clicked her tongue and […]