Fun Fact #10 – Foster Children Lack Confidence

 

Fun Fact #10 – Foster Children Lack Confidence


I must have heard it a thousand times growing up the way I did,

“You’ll never amount to anything”

“You’re going to be alone for the rest of your life”

“NO ONE will love you”

I still remember the look on my biological fathers face as we sped down the freeway – his hands flailing wildly in the air above him as he shouted and glared at me from the front seat of his red Chevy pickup. I always hated that obnoxiously loud truck and the way it roared like a diesel that was 3 bolts short of falling apart or losing a tire.

Every time I hopped into the backseat of that truck I would close my eyes and take a deep breath in attempt to prepare myself for the toxic car ride that would soon follow. When he wasn’t screaming profanities at me, or howling from the front seat about what a failure I was, he was sputtering an exchange of hateful words to his wife in Spanish. Eventually, I learned to tune his voice out and found solace in the little things that flew past my window outside. I would watch people walk down the busy streets and stare at other drivers as we hurled past them, picturing myself in their backseat as someone else. Anywhere else. I grew accustomed to people telling me I wasn’t good enough and I’ll never be worth anything, After years of listening to the same things from different people it slowly bore a hole in my confidence and self-worth, I started believing them!

I mean, maybe they were right? Maybe that’s why my placements in the system never lasted. Growing up, I was extremely shy, withdrawn. and little rebellious. I hated being the center of attention and I had this terrible stutter that just wouldn’t go away no matter how many speech therapy classes my teachers enrolled me in,

I was broken and nobody wanted me– or so I thought.

It took a long time before I was able to extinguish those little voices in my head telling me I was worthless,  It took about 10 years and a few therapy sessions in fact.
________________________________________

Fast forward to now and it looks like my next adventure (in 10 days!) will be on a train to Monterey to join forces with a local Foster Care Agency so that I’ll be able to share my experiences and become a voice for youth still in the system. I’ll have the opportunity to help guide hundreds of foster parents while I sit on their “Former Foster Youth Panel” and give advice on how they can help children currently living in their home. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to shed a little bit of my perspective on what it’s like going through the system, in hopes they will be able to find something beneficial from listening to the story of a foster child that once was.

I was asked not long ago,

“Well, what do you want people to gain from your speech in Monterey?”

and I didn’t really have an answer until now, I guess the truth is that — I know that being a foster parent is not easy, and I know that it gets overwhelming and frustrating at times, when you have a child that is rebellious or withdrawn, or when you have children that come into your home and leave quicker than you expected… It’s difficult to encourage and promote the development (FYI READ THIS AWESOME BLOG) of these young children when you don’t understand their background or where they came from. I know this because I was both a foster child and foster mother, and I hope that by the end of our talk, I’ll be able to give them a fresh perspective or new tool for patience.

Sometimes, patience comes with the ability to understand and I’ve learned that if you’re struggling with patience it’s likely because you are not able to understand someone’s past and if you can’t understand their past, then how can you help shape their future?

Other than that, I’m sure there will be a million questions that I’ll be able to answer. I’m so beyond excited for this opportunity to help Foster Hope Sacramento. This is going to be such a positive and uplifting experience for everyone involved. I was told there are going to be a lot of team building activities and group exercises to help encourage and promote one another, and I think that’s exactly what I need right now! It’s going to be amazing I’m just not sure that I’m entirely ready? I mean do I prepare the speech beforehand? Or just wing it? I’m usually pretty good at “winging it”

Well, I suppose I’ll have 10 days left to prepare a little confidence and muster up the courage to stand there in front of everyone including my fellow peers and former foster youth on the panel.

**Takes a deep breath **

Alright Monterey, Here I come!

© 2018 All Rights Reserved Erica DeCima

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45 thoughts on “Fun Fact #10 – Foster Children Lack Confidence

  1. Erica, you were right in the place a very few seeking total rulership over everyone else wanted you and your father to be. Properly applied, stresses will have us put down and angry with one another and unable to see the source of our tribulations.
    Good material well written.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Fabulous, good for you! Giving back…that’s wonderful. It sounds like you will be a positive, valuable voice for foster families. I hope the talk goes well, and thank you for the follow, I appreciate it!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Erica!!!! I started reading… couldn’t stop! Toy are awesome for sharing! Thank you for visiting my blog! I absolutely love and encourage what you’re doing! Kudos lovely! Fantastic and courageous! Look at yoy now!😀😉💕 Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. WOW! Of course I am immediately following you.
    “Eventually, I learned to tune his voice out and found solace in the little things that flew past my window outside.”
    You do what abused kids do. What I did. You learn to tune out people.
    You learn to see.
    It is a great gift.
    Don’t ever lose it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Amazing that you are using your story to help others during their battles. It will also be a healing process for you. This is what you call INSPIRATION!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for visiting and following my blog. I was at the other end of your story, adopting a foster child whose birth mother was an alcoholic. He too became an alcoholic. It wasn’t easy and our journey didn’t end well. But, he left me with two amazing grandchildren and an ex-wife who is like a daughter to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw! Thank you so much, that’s amazing. I’ll bet we crossed paths at one point and didn’t even know it. Kudos to you! I appropriate all of the hard work that you do, I know from experience how tough it is to be both a foster child and foster mother. Keep it up! PS: I’ll invite you to my next seminar =)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am obviously now obsessed with your blog. I am binging my heart out on all of your writing. You offer such insight into what my children are experiencing. I write about adopting older siblings from care. Honestly I often find myself wondering what our kids (especially our 20-year-old) are thinking/ feeling. Some things are hard for them to verbalize. Thank you for this peek behind the curtain! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw thanks! I read a few of your blogs as well, loved them… and WOW! I feel like there is so much we can teach each one another, we definitely need to stay in touch. I’ll be diving into your blogs more often now,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw thank you! You might not be able to purchase it online right now, I believe it’s on back order, but I’ll definitely let you know once we stock up again! Should be soon =)

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, great to share these experiences! I am a foster parent myself and I would immediately do it again, because our foster child is now 22 and he has become a beautiful part of our lives!
    I’ll try to make some time to read your book…

    Liked by 2 people

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