Statistically, I am supposed to be dead, in jail, or homeless. At 14, I'd been kicked out of so many foster homes that it became a game to me. I acted out because I didn't trust anyone, and I didn't expect that to change any time soon. So, how come I didn't end up as yet another statistic? ONE. CARING. ADULT.
But I learnt in my shoe exchange that the best way to walk in another's shoes is to to walk alongside of them. I am with Sashauna for life. I am excited to witness the expanding impact she will have on many. I am excited to see her step into and own her mantle as a role model. Not just for foster youth, but all young women.
In New York City, over 150,000 children under five are poor. Last year, nearly 20,000 of these children slept in homeless shelters - enough to fill Madison Square Garden. From the moment they're born, children in poverty face an uphill struggle to survive, thrive and learn with so many odds stacked against them.
For older kids who have experienced much loss, those losses and abandonment issues will surface at holidays, on anniversaries, and at other times when we least expect it. Marker events bring out an old sadness and it gets mixed up in our current family life, and masked sadness often surfaces as anger.