Aging- OUT and No Where to Go!
Close your eyes and picture this!
It's your 18th birthday. You want nothing more than to be surrounded by the ones who love you and support you. To have their blessing as you walk into adulthood with confidence, fully prepared for the world ahead. Instead the home you are in is the 7th one in the last 10 years and you are told "it is time to go". No celebration, no preparation, no information and no support. You are thrown to the wolves and expected to suck it up and figure it out. No one took the time over the last 15+ years to prepare you for life. This is what happens to almost 20k youth every year on their 18th birthday. Happy Birthday!
This is a problem that many don't acknowledge or even know exist. All around us are the very youth we say are our future but we have not prepared them to live a life of success, achievement and fulfillment. Instead, many of them fall into a cycle of poverty, homelessness and substance abuse. How can we change this?
It requires that we get outside of ourselves and deal with the issues that are affecting the future of our society. Those youth will one day be adults and we expect them to live responsible and passionate lives. That will only happen if we train, teach and love them while they are in our care. When I say care, I mean foster care. Having Foster Parents that are passionate about changing children's lives and not just a roof over their head. Mentors to stand up an say that your future means something to me. Many may say that you cannot save the world and even if many of us did get involved in the life of 1 youth that it would not make a big difference in the numbers. One youth aging out of foster care is one too many. We can all make a difference in the life of a youth.
Hats off to many programs, both private and governmental, that have begun to get aggressive in this area. What these programs need are volunteers like you and me to say "we care" and we can do something! We can become a family for someone that does not have one. Do you have to adopt to do this? No! You just have to care.
Who will be there for high school graduation?
Who will walk her down the aisle?
Who will teach her how to value herself?
Who will show him how to value a lady?
Who will show them how to care for themselves?
Who will celebrate their accomplishments?
So you see, adoption may not be the option at the moment, but we can ALL make a difference!