I’ve always loved quotes and motivational-type posters. In my office there is a quote that is in a frame sitting on my desk, and it has been there for 5 years, since we first opened our agency. It says Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, and Today is a Gift, That’s Why it is Called the Present. I was looking at the quote recently thinking, why do I have that on my desk? You see, I work with children in foster care, and for children in foster care, today is anything but a gift. In fact, quite the opposite. Their life today is as horrible as it gets, no matter how it might look from the outside. First, they underwent the trauma of being removed from their family due to negligence, abuse or abandonment. Then, there comes the fact that there was not one person in this entire world who was willing or able to take them in to care for them. Trauma.
So I looked at this frame and this quote and thought to myself, I need to find a more appropriate quote for the work that we do. One that comes to mind is by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, The Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step. We quote this to our students all the time, showing them that they can get where they want to go through very small little accomplishments. We believe that education is the key to overcoming adversity and in particular for foster children, whose lives are typically out of their control, what and how much they learn is something they can control. Anything can be taken away from these kids at any time, but what they have learned can never be taken from them. We see it over and over again, education empowers our students!
There are way too many foster children in our state; they are in every county and in every school. More foster families would help, as would more awareness of their needs within the schools they attend. We need to work to together to help these amazing children who did not ask to be born into such tragic circumstances. It just takes a few caring adults to make a difference in their lives! For more information on our programming, please visit http://bestfoot.org/