When I first moved to Seattle in 2009, I joined the Seattle Fire Department. A buddy of mine said let’s go to a concert in Ballard. So we’re standing around having fun. I was single. During intermission, a couple of girls were standing by us and I said, “Hey, how you guys doing? What do you guys do?” They said, “We work for a foster care nonprofit organization.” (Amara). I said, “I was in foster care and was adopted when I was 8 years old!” We swapped numbers and two weeks later I’m telling my story. Now I’m on Amara’s foster care alumni advisory committee and part of the mentor program working with kids in foster care.

I was with my first foster family until I was 5 years old and they were wonderful. Mr. and Mrs. Brown. One day the caseworker came and said we had to move. To me, they were my parents. They moved me to another home and said I couldn’t see the Browns anymore. That didn’t make sense to me.

I figured, I don’t think foster kids in foster care should have to go through this kind of stuff. I’m not a probing type. I just want to build friendships and when they feel like they want to talk, they can come to me naturally. I think just being there and having another adult who’s been through what they are going through can be helpful. Just knowing that I’ve been through that, just by example, that will show them they can get through.

In celebration of Foster Care Awareness Month in May, we are highlighting the extensive network of support that surrounds the child in foster care. From foster families to extended family members, to teachers and foster care youth advocates. We appreciate the unique strengths and skills that each role brings to ensure that children in foster care have the love and support they need to thrive. We salute you!