The Rewards of Foster Care
My name is Julia, I was placed in a CCR foster home when I was 13 years old. I had been in foster care for most of my life, in 8 different foster homes since I was 4 years old. I was a victim of sexual abuse and was acting out all of the anger that I felt inside. I was lashing out at people, running away, stealing, experimenting with weed, and getting into trouble with the law. Even though I knew I could do better if I tried, I was really struggling in school too, not attending all of my classes and getting suspended for bad behavior. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere and that nobody wanted me or cared.
For the first 6 months, I continued to struggle and tested my foster parents, thinking they would eventually have me removed. I was verbally aggressive and defiant, slammed doors, stomped around, complained about everyone and everything. When anyone confronted me about it, I would become extremely defensive or totally shut down.
I eventually began to see that they were not giving up on me. I felt like they were willing to accept me for who I was and give me a chance and I realized that I had the ability to turn my life around if I wanted to. I also realized that I had some positive qualities that would help me to make the changes that I needed to make. I knew I was smart, I had been on the B honor roll at least once before. I made a lot of progress in the foster home by expressing my emotions in a healthy way and began to trust adults, succeed academically, and participate in typical healthy teen activities. I was also participating in therapy with my foster mom and learning to work through my feelings in healthier ways.
I was with my foster family for 4 years when they became my legal guardians!! I no longer thought of my foster parents as such, but more like my real parents. The unconditional support that they gave me allowed me to grow and be successful. After high school graduation, I attended UW-Platteville. I have remained close to my family, and know that they will always be there for me.
’Kellie, Fond du Lac County, WI