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 […]

The Beauty of Broken

By Brandy Sacapanio

Some choose their destiny and for others, destiny chooses them. I never would have chosen my path, but on it I have found myself. I went into foster care when I was 10. After being abused and neglected, I wanted to be loved and adopted, but things rarely work out the way we hope. Foster […]

Turning Adversity into an Asset

By Diego Conde

During the first few months of 2008, all I could hear was my mother in pain and agony from the life-sucking disease we call cancer. That time was a blur, but I do recall smelling the crisp winter air as I headed to school after I made my mother a traditional Colombian dish of rice, […]

Inspired By the Children We Serve

Inspired By the Children We Serve

By Kate Wood

I arrived at a row of rundown white single-story buildings surrounded by an old chain fence with overgrown weeds. It was strangely quiet for a place where dozens of children were supposed to be housed. After entering the gate, I crossed an open courtyard with nothing but a lone picnic table and then went into […]

Aging Out to Advocacy: My Story

By Catherine Konold

I entered Utah state custody in 2001 and aged out in 2010, three months after graduating high school. The nine years I spent in foster care shaped me into the person I am today. I lived in 14 different placements. Foster care was a mix of horrible experiences and times when I was normal and […]

Fostering Normal

By Joseph Bakhit

We were taken away from my sister’s home not even a month after we moved in. We struggled to reunite for years after that. There’d be moments where we were all together and other times when one of us was missing.

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