Karla C. / Make the best of it and always look at it through a positive lens.

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The most challenging experience for me in the foster care system was being away from my family and adjusting to a whole new life in a matter of hours. You go from living with the only family you’ve ever known to living with complete strangers and having to trust them within minutes. You’re supposed to trust that they won’t hurt you, trust that they have your best interest at heart and trust that they won’t let you down. It was just overall hard to adjust to the whole dynamic of the foster care system. and to be honest, I don't think I ever fully did since I was notorious for running away.

If I could give advice to someone in the system now, it would be to look at it as a second opportunity at life, something from your past that wasn’t so great led you to be in the foster care system. Make the best of it and always look at it through a positive lens. It might not be the ideal situation but you’re already there, take advantage of the opportunities that come with it and always remember it’s only temporary. You have the control to change the outcome of your life, do it to the best of your ability and learn from the mistakes others have made.

I feel like the foster care system had taught me to be a fighter, to fight for the life I want and to not give up. It taught me that sometimes people who aren’t your family have better intentions than those who are. It taught me that life is what you make of it and you have that power. No matter the circumstances your life has led you to, as long as you stay focused on the bigger picture and strive for what you want your life to be, you have that power and no-one can take that away from you.

What I needed most while in the foster care system was the reassurance that if life didn’t go as planned that I would have something to lean on or fall back on. Maybe counseling when it came to emancipation, to give me heads up of what adult life would be like.

Foster Nation