The Dealer of Hope

By Kamilah Badiane

I once read a quote that stated, “A strong woman loves, forgives, walks away, lets go, tries again, and perseveres … no matter what life throws at her.” By that definition, I am a strong woman. My mother is also a strong woman, and I love her more than I can fathom, but when she […]

Foster Care is an Opportunity to Succeed!

By Jamie Schwandt, Ed.D.

I spent most of my small town Kansas childhood on the fast track to a life destined for failure. My parents were plagued with addiction, and because of that, I was surrounded by drugs, alcohol, and depression at an early age. This created an environment of limits — limited prosperity, limited stimulation and limited expectations. […]

My Experiences in Foster Care

By Brittany Hines Clark

Growing up in foster care can be challenging. It can also be a good thing, as weird as that sounds. Some children come from terrible situations within their biological families and they will be helped in a home where there is love and support; at times foster care can provide more opportunity and a better […]

Rising Above the Chaos

By Robert E. Thomas

I still remember the chaotic day when my seven siblings and I went into foster care. My mom left to go drinking, and my 2-year-old brother was locked in the house by himself. The rest of us could not get in. Fire trucks and police cars came, officers broke in and we were taken away. […]

Never Lose Hope

By Tammylinn Clutter

All my life I knew there was a reason for me being in foster care. Maybe this is it, to get my story out there. I was just 18 ½ months old when I was removed from my biological mother and placed in a foster home after neighbors reported that my brother and I were […]

The Foster Care Effect

By Rodney Humphrey

I’m Rodney Humphrey, a 25-year-old man. I spent 17 of my first 20 years in Child Protective Services. While in state care, I experienced my share of ups and downs – some worse than others. I had physically and verbally abusive foster parents. Sometimes my body was bruised by belt buckles. When I was just […]

Lucky to be a Foster Kid’s Kid

By Ashley Watts

Be warned: You may finish this article wishing my mom was yours. That’s okay, I can share. In a sense I already do, with scores of youth from Ohio foster care. I guess the first thing I should mention is that my mom herself is a former foster kid. She spent 18 years in the […]

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 […]