Not every youth in foster care gets adopted, and while it is a beautiful experience to have adults commit to you, it often comes with conditions. As a foster care alumni, I am seeking unconditional love and support. I was adopted by parents of a different race and felt as though the world saw me as a symbol, representing someone’s noble act of saving a young black child. However, behind the surface, my journey was far from simple. Despite my initial hopes, I found myself having to navigate life mainly on my own, facing challenges that seemed to shorten the days. But amidst the hardships, I discovered pockets of light that guided me toward healing and love. Adoption, especially across racial lines, is a multifaceted experience. While it offers the potential for a loving family and new beginnings, it also presents challenges.
The weight of societal expectations often overshadows the need for individual recognition and understanding. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that adoption alone does not resolve all the complexities one may face. Growing up, my relationship with my grandmother was strained due to ineffective communication. I reflect on the difficulties this presented and the sense of isolation I experienced. Despite the difficulties, I endured as a result of childhood trauma, the loss of my great grandparents, and the death of my mother. With all of the new beginnings God has provided me with, I have been able to overcome those difficult moments by trusting the process. It was difficult to be a 13-year-old girl while still trying to be the leader of the household. I’ve realized that the difficulties you endure as an individual are all for a cause.
These terrible experiences left profound scars that will take time to heal. Along my journey, I had the opportunity to join one of the greatest sisterhoods, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, while attending Wayne State University. This community became a source of empowerment, support, and lifelong connections. I discovered the power of unity, advocacy, and service through sisterhood. Joining this sorority allowed me to grow personally, academically, and professionally while providing a platform to positively impact the world. Marla, my campus coach, entered my life like a beacon of love and support. Her unwavering dedication and genuine care made me feel cherished and valued, as if I were her own child. With Marla, I found a safe haven where my voice was heard, my dreams were nurtured, and my potential was recognized. I understood the importance of trust in our relationships and how it can improve our lives.
I recall specific moments where trust was critical to my personal development, emphasizing the necessity of developing and keeping relationships with people who care. Marla showed up at times when I didn’t have anyone. Her presence made me feel safe, loved, and protected. If only she were a foster mother. Marla’s love, mentorship, and belief in my potential have left an indelible mark on my life. Her presence has transformed the trajectory of my life, providing me with the tools to overcome obstacles, embrace my true identity, and positively impact the world. Through her unwavering support and nurturing care, I have learned the power of resilience, love, and compassion.
I hope my personal account will inspire people to reflect on their experiences and relationships. By promoting open and honest dialogue and establishing long-lasting friendships, we can create a supportive environment that allows individuals to flourish and attain their full potential. It is never too late to build meaningful relationships and make a difference in someone’s life.