As I sit with the most amazing little boy in my lap, with the comfort and privilege to know I am secure in all ways, I am content. This security is all the more complete because my son, the most important thing in my life, is safe and thriving.
It fills me with the utmost honor and gratitude to dwell upon the reflections of my life.
Unfortunately, the beginning of my journey was predominately unpleasant. This logic might be mysterious to some, I mean “why would you be so grateful for something you yourself define as ‘unpleasant’” However, it’s not the constant barrage of hardships I’m honored and grateful for, it’s the beauty and rescue that stand out.
It’s the reality that with the unconditional love, guidance, and support of a few angels along the way, I managed to create a beautiful and vivid life with a stable and healthy family.
Let’s take a gaze through the looking glass to an eighteen-year-old me.
At eighteen, I was newly “graduated” from minor foster care. How I got there in the first place is convoluted and graphic, to say the least.
On top of absent parents, neglect and trauma, I found myself on my own and fighting to survive. Kids don’t end up in foster care thousands of miles from where they’re originally from. You can fill in the blanks as you’d like.
I was bouncing from friends’ couches, motels, and rented rooms, trying my best to be successful in college, hold down a job, and find healing from the deep wounding of my childhood and trauma.
By God’s grace, I was put in contact with the gems of humanity that brought me to TLF. In many ways, they saved my life.
Teen Leadership Foundation provided me with stability for the very first time in my life. They gave me a safe home and unfettered access to any and all resources someone in my position could need to recover and succeed. They introduced me to the concept and framework for what “community” looks like and why a good life necessitates its presence.
Thanks in very large part to TLF, I’ve been able to travel to multiple countries, contribute to greater humanity, graduate from a university, secure a wonderful job in the nonprofit sector, get married and have the most gorgeous baby boy.
The women I interacted with at TLF modeled to me what I imagined a good mother would be like. I now get to emulate that love and mutual respect with my own child, finally breaking cycles, and changing the world in my own little way and corner of the world.