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I’ve been home for a week now. It is nice rest in a queen size bed again, but it’s difficult to fall asleep without the sound of Heather’s fan and exhaustion driven giggle-fits with Erin. I miss Mariah saying “five more minutes” when I wake her up in the morning. I miss Tasha’s bunk bed blanket fort, and lying on Kita and Stacie’s room talking until the carpet texture is imprinted in my skin. I miss people who listen and understand me never being more than a few blocks away, and never feeling like a burden to them.
Since being home there have been a few times where I felt less than capable. I often feel guilty despite trying my best to do the right thing. I’m trying to hold my ground, but it has hurt feeling pushed back into the person I used to be- the one who stretched too thin and didn’t set boundaries. I know there is nothing unhealthy about growing apart from my family and creating my own, but for some reason it still feels a bit like betrayal. All sorts of little things remind me of this summer, and it’s hard to reminisce and not pine for it. I’m determined to create that kind of validating environment here, though. I don’t want to run from something without attempting to make it better, so I figure maybe Wisconsin is right where I am meant to be, because I know there are many things in our states system that could be improved.
I’m still figuring out what my involvement will look like- I am going to start with baby steps, such as empowering myself by asking for a copy of my court records when I entered care and handing out my business card to anyone who I think could help Wisconsin foster youth. Maybe I’ll write a letter to the editor for the local paper about the importance of fostering, or just leave my card at DCFS as someone who would be willing to help with foster parent training. I guess what I’m trying to say is that despite not being in Seaside, or having access to mass amounts of resources, I know I still have a mark to make on the system and so do you. I know it’s probably cheesy and cliché of me to say everyone can do something, but it really is true. Being brave and motivated enough to act is the hardest part; once you start actually doing, it’s self-propelling, because you can’t get enough. I wish someone would’ve spoken up for me at fourteen, and now that I can be that person for someone else, I’m not going to turn it down. I don’t want to shrink back anymore. It’s time to stand up.

Aug 31, 2009 By b_true