KANSAS: Stacy was removed from her home at age five. Her story is sad and familiar; she had an absent father, who was also a drug user and had a history of neglect. Now 15, Stacey has lived in over 50 placements and is described as angry.
KANSAS: Baby boy Zac needed a loving and supportive home. His family finding advocate from Cornerstones of Care used the Connect Our Kids technology platform and found an aunt who wanted to take in little Zac.
NEVADA: Winona*, a victim of medical neglect and food scarcity, entered foster case due to allegations of domestic violence and sexual abuse. She also has a medical condition that if left unmanaged causes illness.
VERMONT: Adam* spent eight years in foster care due to parental substance and physical abuse. Growing up with violence, he developed reactive and physical patterns of behavior that resulted in several failed foster home experiences and eventually he would up living in a group home.
Current Maryland State Delegate, C.T. Wilson, is a happily married man with three children. While professionally successful as a lawyer and lawmaker, C.T.’s achievements in his personal life are what make him truly remarkable. It was not easy for C.T. to find happiness or create a loving family–an experience shared by many of those who have grown up without safety and stability.
Chaos is normal to foster youth but with Alexis and Justin Black’s book, “Redefining Normal: How Two Foster Kids Beat the Odds and Discovered Healing, Happiness, and Love,” they aim to create a better life for themselves as well as show other survivors a pathway to healing and growth.
Justin Black spent his childhood growing up in Detroit, Michigan. It was in Detroit where he avoided CPS, normalized the rampant drug use around him while also living in abandoned housing and hopping from one homeless shelter to another. Winter in an abandoned house was particularly rough for him and his family. With no running water or heat, Justin spent months scooping snow off of the ground, then carried those buckets inside and waited for the icy snow to melt. The melted snow was used as water for his makeshift showers. Then there were the years in foster care.
OHIO: Daniel* was angry and frustrated as a teenager, and his “story” was “there are no good people in my life.” He spent more than a year in foster care because everyone he knew was either in prison or suffering from mental health issues.
NEVADA: Dakota experienced several disrupted relationships before foster care. His father had abandoned him and his mother by the time he was one. His mother remarried, but his stepfather emotionally abused him. When they tired of raising him, he was sent to live with his maternal grandparents at age nine. His grandparents taught him to sell drugs which caused his removal to foster care at age 11. He spent the next six years living in multiple foster care homes and institutions. Over the years, Dakota became more withdrawn and isolated.
KANSAS/MISSOURI: In the first week of 2021, four Kansas children entered the foster care system. Their mother, who is burdened with unhealed trauma, cannot care for them.