Keep working to find a reliable and supportive adult. There are people who are willing to care and love you. It may seem difficult to find that person you can call when you are in trouble or talk to about your day. But like any relationship it takes work especially when you’re in foster care and switch between many different homes. Believe me, I get it.
At the age of six, I was placed in the foster care system and spent seven years switching from multiple home. However, I was lucky enough to have an open adoption at the age of twelve. I believed that this family with adults I could trust. I had finally found my permanent placement with people who cared. I was wrong. At the age of 17 I found the home verbally and emotionally abusive. I decided to move in with a friend’s family and ended up staying there till I went to college. I believe that much of my success is due to how caring and understanding my friend’s family has been. They took me in without asking anything from me. Even though they were not the family I expected they have become the family I needed. Their willingness to care for me has given me the opportunity to truly understand the meaning of unconditional love. They opened their hearts and home to me in a way all foster children should experience. Due to this privilege I feel the need to guide other foster youth towards a more successful life. I hope to one day provide a supportive and loving environment for foster youth. There are people who want to care and love you. Be vulnerable and let those relationships flourish.
Ellena Jones is currently a student at the University of Washington who intends to major in Social Welfare and plans to get a master’s degree. She hopes to become a counselor or psychiatrist. Earlier this year Ellena decided she wanted to travel during her college career. She is fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to Japan with International Foster Care Alliance (IFCA). This organization collaborates with a Japan team about their child welfare system. Her persistent hard work and resilience has led to many different opportunities. She hopes her work with FosterClub and International Foster Care Alliance will inspire other foster youth to see how successful they could be even when faced with adversity.