“After being sold for drugs, traded for a house, and given up by my biological mother at 8 months, I was sent to live with a family who kept me until I was 9. The mother in the family would starve me, beat me, and lock me in closets. This was my life from ages 5-9. At the age of 9, I was finally given a garbage bag of clothes, driven to Delaware’s youth and family services, and left on the stairs.
From my first day in foster care, I felt alone and vulnerable. Though I was free from one harsh reality, I had just entered into another. The fear never stopped in foster care. I was molested by an older girl when we were visiting one of my foster mother’s friends. And worse yet, I didn't know freedom because I feared the family who had me before would come back again. I spent sleepless nights wondering where I would end up next.
The fear was constant. I was afraid of the pain, afraid of the instability, afraid of being abandoned again. Ultimately, I was afraid of being vulnerable in a world so much bigger than me and having to wonder if I would survive. So I began to #SpeakUp. I began to write, and I began to give others hope that we could make it because I believe we have to fight for people who don’t yet know they are worth fighting for.”
-Jackie Turner, whose story inspired the movie My One Christmas Wish