Stigma Can Hurt

By Jeannette Miller

I remember the day I gave birth to my son, Joshuwah. It was inside my sister’s apartment. I went into labor, but was sent back from the hospital because I wasn’t far enough along. I was angry they told me to go home when I knew I needed to be there. But that was nothing […]

‘Working Hard on Myself to Grow Past the Pain’

By Rosie Perez

Rosie Perez is best known for her acting chops, cutting-edge choreography and dogged activism. But until now, few people knew that the Oscar-nominated talent spent much of her childhood as a ward of the state of New York. Her mother, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, seized her at age 3 from the aunt who had […]

Joining the Family Biz

By Hank Marotske

As early as I can remember I knew what “the belt” meant. It meant my mom was drunk, angry and “Henry was going to get it.” My mother’s anger toward me was always transparent; I was a boy and men had done her wrong. For that I would pay. Verbal, emotional, and physical abuse highlighted […]

Getting a Second Life Through Adoption

By Michael Howard

I was in foster care for the first four years of my life. Calling it difficult would be an understatement. Even from that young age, I was already watching other children with their parents and trying to figure out my identity: Will I ever have a family? Will I find my biological mother? Who did […]

Struggling with the System

By Kelly

Being a foster family was both a rewarding and frustrating experience.  My husband and I heard about babies being placed in overcrowded, unsafe shelters and wanted to help. We were ready to love and take care of these infants, and provide them a safe, stable home. But we had no idea about the struggles that […]

A Story of Resilience

By James Williams

I lived in foster care for the majority of my life. A police report in my file indicates that when I was about a year old, my father was driving under the influence with me in the back seat. No family members wanted to take me, so I went into state care. I was adopted […]

Ensuring Kids Get the Care They Deserve

By Joshua Rosenthal

When he was six years old, James* entered foster care after the state heard that his brother had been physically abused. Over the next two years, his life became increasingly uncertain as he was shuffled through 12 different foster care placements in four different counties and was assigned a revolving door of caseworkers. James spent […]

My Past Did Not Define Me, It Designed Me

By Shandreka Jones

My 17-year-old mother was in foster care when she had me. She left me with her mother, whom she ran away from years earlier because of abuse. My grandmother carried the abuse down to me and I still have a half-inch scar above my right eye from when she pushed me into the dining room […]

A Chapter in My Life

By Ollie Hernandez

Ever since I was a kid, I knew that I wanted to become something great – whether it was a doctor, a lawyer or a princess. It always seemed that I was meant to accomplish something big. However, life isn’t easy and, at a young age, I got thrown one hell of a curveball. My […]