I think most of us have some sort of brokenness from our past, and here is mine:
When I was born, my birth mother was in jail. I was immediately placed into foster care. My birth parents were not ready to care for a child, so I spent the first seven years of my life in foster homes. I lived in several different homes. All of that is kind of a blur now, but I do have some memories. I was never outright abused in these homes; just neglected. I had foster placements that didn’t know how to care for a young child with emotional issues. I was left to play by myself and figure things out for myself. I have a memory of accidentally burning my hand on the stove top –I was sent to my room without any comforting. I must have been about five years old. I learned how to make do with what I had. I also learned that adults don’t really care about you.
That is, until my adopted parents came along.
When I was adopted by my parents, I had many “firsts.” The first time I ever played in the snow, the first time I ever carved a pumpkin and got to pick out my own Halloween costume. The first time I ever got swimming lessons. The first time I got to celebrate my birthday. I was never given so much individualized attention before I met my (new) parents. We went through many trials as I was growing up. After all, most foster kids come with a little bag of “issues” that need to be worked out. I was scared of weird things. I was emotionally insecure and socially immature. My parents and I went through years of family counseling to help me overcome the wounds of childhood neglect.
For a foster kid, I actually turned out pretty good. But when I look back over the various homes I lived in, I realize that I was really neglected as a little kid, which helps me to understand some of the emotional insecurities I still deal with today.
It makes me sad to think that some children live in placements in which the adults do not have adequate knowledge and understanding or patience to deal with and love them as if they were their own.
For two years, I worked for a company called Arizona Baptist Children Services. ABCS is a nonprofit faith-based organization that provides various care and resources for hurting families. One of their programs is licensing foster parents and equipping them to care for foster children with the love and compassion that Jesus has for us. In addition to foster care, ABCS provides parent aide services for biological parents who are working hard to get their children back in their care.
A portion of all of my sales is donated to ABCS every month. This is my way of giving back to a cause that is near to my heart and has significantly shaped my life. I believe every child deserves caregivers who are loving, patient, and kind.
Thank you for supporting my art journey and allowing me to invest in something so meaningful to me!