This story is taken from a blog post by Lupe, a FosterClub All-Star.
The Holidays: When Things Get Rough
I don't know about you guys out there, but, the holidays make me get this feeling.... I really don't know what it is, but, it is almost like I am missing something.
So this time of year is always hard for me. I want to do more for others than I can (usually because I do not make enough $$, to do all that I want). I want to be surrounded by positive people who love the underlining meaning of this time of year-togetherness, reflection, appreciation and happiness!
I love all these qualities and spread them as much as I can, but, it is hard...sometimes...to just keep on when at the end of the night, I still have this little feeling of emptiness (just a little, don't worry). But, it just comes out this time of year. When I listen to the holiday music, see the movies, and actually think about it all.
You know what though, when I can actually live up to all these visions of my future with my family and the holiday seasons for them and I will be amazing!
So what I have decided to do, is not plan for the holidays... Wherever I am supposed to be on the holidays, I will be! Where I will be, I will make the best of it around the people who I am around! SO please do the same, and have a wonderful time!
Why do holidays seem to be so hard for kids in foster care? Here's what the members of FosterClub had to say:
82% Missing their family
8% Memories of the past
8% Everyone else has family around
0% Nowhere to go
2% All of the above
Here's more of what foster youth from across the country have to say about the holidays:
I think that the holidays are hard because you see all of the families around you, and because for your entire childhood, you have been searching for that, it pains you to see that some people who don't even want it seem to have it. It is hard to have no one to go home to...especially in college. You hear everyone talking about how they cannot wait to see their mom, dad, aunt, grandparent, and it makes you sad because you know that you don't have that...and chances are you won't. The holidays are a time of great joy when there are others to share them with, but when you are alone, they are a time of turmoil.
Sharde, age 20, Indiana
Well, being that this has been my first "Holiday Season" in care, I don't really find it to be hard, I just sometimes feel kind of awkward and not quite sure of what to expect. I know that I am accepted as part of the family, but sometimes it just seems so different than the holidays before coming into care.
Krista, age 18, Georgia
We remember what it use to be like and know how it is now. For most kids all they want it to go home and the holidays is a painful reminder that going home is not an option. It's especially hard when everyone else is shopping for their moms , dads and siblings and you can't because you are not allowed to see them.
mistake2452, age 17, Michigan
I just got kicked out of my grandparents home and now I am couch surfing. It sucks and what makes it worse is that I don't have a single place to go for the holidays. I don't know what to do.... so for those with the same problems I definitely know where you are coming from and I hope that you have a good Christmas!!!!
madmax, age 18, Iowa
It's everything...I don't have family around but everybody else does. It just makes you remember what it was like to spend a holiday with family and then there not there you really do feel like crap. I feel like this every year. the worst part is that it doesn't go away...It is really hard even though some of the kids don't show it, deep inside they are very sad.
pink-lola, age 18, California
I'm lucky in a way because I live with my grandparents but I miss my little brother and 2 sisters a lot. this Christmas is the first Christmas I've been in foster care and its kind or heartbreaking because my little brother Danny won't be able to wake me up by jumping up and down on my bed screaming "Santa came!"
punkin, age 14
A big reason why the holidays are so hard is that a lot of foster kids don't experience the holiday in the same home 2 years in a row. I know for me I have been in a different home every Christmas, and I'm in a different one this year again. hang in their they will get better once you find a place you can call home.
naynay, age 20, Indiana
This was my first holiday of not being "home". For me it was just a painful reminder of how things used to be and that nothing will feel like "home". I made it through the holiday, but not without some tears.
littlechris, age 19, Illinois
I think that the holidays are so hard for foster kids is that you see everyone else talking about how crazy their family gets or how much their families spend on Christmas, and you know that you don't have the "normal" family. You also see people who don't really seem to appreciate what they have in life and they don't know what some kids would give to have that kind of family.
Keli, age 18, Oregon
The holidays are hard for me because my mother couldn't afford anything for Christmas so i was often presentless. And to be with a family that gives me things makes me very sad but also grateful.
Co, age 15, Georgia