Sometimes people forget that a 13 year old girl in the back seat of a passenger car can hear the adults in the front seat.  It was April 30th, 1991 when I found out my mother had given up her parental rights, I had just turned 13.  On that day I really didn’t expect much, I was happy to be in school the weather was nice, there were no fights and the 8th grade bully, let’s call her Charlene, did not pick on me at all, it was turning out to be a great day.  I was called out of class at the end of the day, I think it was a science class and I was so jazzed that my foster parents had come to pick me up, my birthday was the day before April 29th and even though no one remembered, I thought I was being picked up to celebrate my birthday, I thought this was turning out to be the best day ever.  We were in the car just passed the ” Welcome to Garden City” sign when I heard my foster parents talking about how to tell me they were going to court because my birth mom had to relinquish her rights to be my mother.  I don’t remember too much of the day after that.  I do know that since April 30th, 1991 I would be forever different, I would be without a mom, legally on paper signed by a judge- motherless.   

How do you go on?  How is it possible to go to sleep at night knowing your mom just stopped being your mom?  Yes, I had been in foster care for about 5 years by this point but I always knew in my heart she was coming back, even though she missed visits even after she stopped calling and even when she showed up to my 4th grade May Day dance high I knew she and I would be together again because that is how life is supposed to be.  But sometimes life takes its own detours.

I’ve lived through many trying times as a child in foster care.  Once my mom gave up her rights I was put on a list of adoptable children.  Who is going to adopt a 13 year old girl and her 5 year old younger brother? There is such an anxiety that comes with being 13 and knowing that at 18, in 5 years, you are on your own.

Miles Above was created as a way to empower former foster youths and youths aging out of the foster care system by helping emancipating and former foster youths create their own foundations through direct and temp to hire job placement.   Miles Above will help relieve the anxiety of being motherless and on your own.  The bottom line of the project is to reduce the return of foster youths to state dependency, homelessness and the criminal justice system and help provide an opportunity to self sustain.

Sometimes life takes detours and we don’t always know why, it is often hard to see the light in the darkness but if we keep going; with focus determination and the want to be better we can take that detour head on and rise above it all.

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