Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Dream Deferred A Joy Achieved

A Dream Deferred A Joy Achieved by Charisse Nesbit

This book is a collection of stories of children in the foster system who have made it through and gone on to succeed in life.  The author was a foster child herself and wrote the book because she was tired of hearing all the horrible stories of children in foster care.  There are success stories to be told of resilient children that despite what was stacked against them, succeeded.  "Savasia says she never became accustomed to being called a 'foster child': I hated those words.  They made me sound like I was somebody else's hand-me-down."  I am thankful for the perspective of this book, that I was able to learn straight from these children's stories.  "Remember, you are so much more than what you came from.  You cannot choose your parents or cannot explain their behavior.  You now have the opportunity to really understand who you are and what you can be.  An environment will have an impact on what's around it, but you can still rise above it."  I love those words of encouragement to children going through the system, they can rise above, we all can.  "I am in no way excusing the abuse.  I just now understand the circumstances."  "For kids in the foster system, she offers these words: 'First, I love you.  I know what you're going through.  Keep dreaming your dreams even though you feel powerless.  When the sadness overwhelms you, pray-make friends with God.  Speak up!  Your voice is important, and it MATTERS.'"  "I couldn't tell my secrets because if I did, I would have to defend myself even more becasue by saying I am a foster youth, I am saying to them that I am on drugs, a thief, will become pregnant as a teen, or will be a juvenile delinquent.  If I was a foster youth, according to statistics, I was not to be trusted.  I was not to be defended..."  The labels that we have given foster youth need to be thrown out.  We need to give these kids a chance, we need to defend them and show them that they are loved.  I recommend this book for a great perspective on our foster youth from our foster youth.

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