what is foster care

A Promise Worth Living For

What is a promise that you made to yourself as a child?

She said, “ … When I was growing up, I had a youth group leader … she took me to a little restaurant called, Olga’s Kitchen. I don't even remember what she said to me, but I know she said something … that made me feel like she saw me … she didn’t understand what my story was, but she saw me and she reassured me that she loved me and I was beautiful inside and out … That there was a purpose for my life … I left that meeting with making a promise that if I made it through my teen years, I would spend the rest of my life helping other kids find their way …”

What once seemed, as a simple promise, is now part of Erica’s life work, to change the world through reforming practices and policies in domestic and international adoption.

What is a promise that you made that you still need to fulfill?


EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • On Wholeness & Healing: Know your story and history

  • On Promises: What is a promise that you made that you still need to fulfill?

  • On Environment: Focus on creating and maintaining lifelong relationships

  • On Development: Focus on gaining valuable and meaningful experiences


Want to Connect with Erica?

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Dealing with Stress and Anxiety

Are you aware of the triggers that cause your stress or anxiety?

She said, “… It was in my Master’s program that I became aware of my triggers … You have to be aware of what causes your stress, your pressure, and your anxiety …”

Self-awareness or self-reflection, a process that is easier said than done.

A process that allows us to take a step back and reflect on our life, behavior and beliefs.

What do you to do to practice daily self-refection?


EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

  • On Identity: Fall in love with yourself

  • On Stress: Become aware of what triggers your stress

  • On Anxiety: Take the time to reflect

  • On Environment: Be able to say, “No” to people who aren’t helping you grow


Want to Connect with Ereka?

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Visualizing the Endgame

It all started when she was a little girl.

She said, “Since I was a little girl, I always knew that I wanted to be a social worker. So, I knew that I had to do certain things in order to be able to work with people …”

I was once told, “a dream written down with a definite date becomes a goal; a goal broken down into actionable steps becomes a plan; a plan supported by action becomes a reality.”

For Ebony, the process was not any different [dream -> goal -> plan -> reality]

She continued by saying, “ … I always knew that I wanted to work with people … I didn't know the form or the setting, but I knew that I wanted to work with teens … So, I knew regardless of the things that I was facing in foster care or the abuse that I was enduring that I had to keep pushing forward in order to see the ending light. In order to get to be where I am today to help other people …”

What are you doing to put yourself closer toward achieving your dreams? What type of people are your surrounding yourself with or need to surround yourself with to help you achieve those dreams?


EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • On Story: Use your story to give back to others

  • On Trauma: Seek support groups

  • On Routine: Develop a routine that brings the best of you

  • On Self-Care: Take the time to care of your mind, body and spirit


Want to Connect with Ebony?

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The Power of Your Story

It took him years to get to this point.

He said, “… The story that I was once ashamed of was the story that was helping liberate people from their own circumstances or issues they may have been ashamed of …”

What are you still ashamed of when it comes to sharing your story? How are you working through it?

It is by answering such questions Branden Brown was able to find his purpose in life, to help increase the quality of life of people and their families through teachings and powerful coaching experiences.

Tune in to our conversation with Branden Brown, as we discuss the importance of choosing your own family, treating others the same way you want them to treat you, helping yourself before you can help others, and many others.


EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: 

  • On Family: You get to choose your family

  • On Relationships: Treat people the way you want them to treat you

  • On Helping Others: Help yourself before you can help others

  • On Narrative: Live the story you want to tell, not the story others want you to tell


Want to Connect with Branden?

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What makes you trust the people closest to you?

How does one develop trust? What are the elements that make up trust?

He said, “What I’ve seen in the past from my experience is trust really came from those who were consistent in my life …”

It is through consistency that we are able to tell whether or not people are fully invested in the relationship at hand.

  • Do they trust you enough to reveal deeper parts of themselves?

  • Do their actions speak louder than their words?

A set of questions that most of us seek answers to, as we try to form healthy and trustworthy relationships.

What questions do you seek answers to as you’re developing trust in a relationship?


EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • On Mentorship: Find people who will help you see the bigger picture in life

  • On Developing Trust: Learn to observe your environment

  • On Leadership: “Actions always speak louder than words”

  • On Self-Narrative: “Why” do you want to share your story?

The Decision

She couldn’t tell anyone.

For five months, she sat alone, in her college dorm room, getting sick, not wanting others to know.

She said, “When I was a junior in college, I found out that I was pregnant. I was at a strict religious school and at the time … it was definitely frowned upon… I always dreamed of being a mom one day, I just knew it wasn’t the time. I had no way of providing the kind of life I thought my baby deserved. I really wrestled with this decision of what to do, how to handle the situation and while I was thinking through that, I had to hide my pregnancy…”

A decision had to be made.

She said, “In the end, when I realized that I couldn’t give her everything she deserved, I went ahead and made an adoption plan for her … Leaving the hospital without my newborn was probably the single hardest thing, I have ever done in my life … The loneliness that envelopes you, the doubts, the fears, the worries of not doing the right thing or not ruining someone’s life … But, I knew at the time that I loved her so much, that I wanted more for her than I could give …”

For Adrian, doing the best she could with what she knew at the time was the only option.

What is the hardest decision that you have had to make in your life?


EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • On Decisions: Know that you’ve done your best based on the information available

  • On Storytelling: Use your story to encourage and bring hope to others

  • On Judgment: Put yourself in the other person’s shoes

  • On Acceptance: Find a way to work through your fears and keep moving forward


Keep Moving Forward

Transitions.

She was in 63 different foster homes between four and 21 years of age.

63 different placements, a number that is simply unimaginable to most, if not all, of us.

She said, “The experience going through 63 foster homes was a tough one to swallow because I knew what I was entitled to … and I also had to face the fact that there are going to be times that the people who are responsible for providing services to you, providing care to you, don’t love you …”

But, despite all of the challenges and the constant transitions, it was through the foster care system that Felicia Wilson ended up meeting a foster parent who changed her life for the better.

A foster mom that helped Felicia embrace her own identity, and feel comfortable in her own skin.

A foster mom that helped Felicia realize the importance of accepting the cards she has been dealt with in this lifetime and figure out a way to play them to her advantage.

A foster mom that helped Felicia develop confidence in her own abilities, which led her on an unexpected journey of starting, “Fear Everything & Rise,” a platform to better prepare young people affected by foster care with the tools necessary to grow and live prosperous lives beyond the child welfare system.

I asked, “If you were given one word to describe your foster mom, what would that word be?”

She said, “Loving … As a kid growing up not having that stable mother figure in your life … being a kid that went through 63 foster homes … I’ve always wanted that simple hug … I always wanted to know that someone accepted my flaws … I wanted to know that no matter what decisions I made, right or wrong, at the end of the day I wouldn’t be judged … I wanted to know that if I fell short of anything I tried in life … somebody would still accept me and love me the same…”

If YOU were given one WORD to describe either of your parents, what would that word be?


EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • On Independence: With freedom comes great responsibility

  • On Growth: Push yourself outside of your comfort zone

  • On Letting Go: Let your wall down and let others in to help you

  • On Acceptance: Accept the cards you’ve been dealt in this life, and learn how to play them


Want to Connect with Felicia?

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Breaks, Breakthroughs, and Breakdowns

Where do you come from?
 
A question that some of us are fortunate to have an answer to, others not so much.
 
A question that sparks a story deep inside our hearts; a story that gives others hope to not give up when times get tough.
 
He said, “My mother… at 18/19 years old… had a six-month-old baby boy, $100, a plane ticket, a friend’s name in Chicago and she decided to start our life…”
 
Not the most ideal beginning, but sometimes the only thing we have is starting where we are, using what we have, and doing what we can.
 
For John Robinson, it was no different.
 
He continued by saying, “I believe people should overcome less.”
 
A motto that has become the guiding force behind his current work: to connect those who seek with those who raise their hand to give.


EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:
On Family: A collective energy of those that care about each other
On Purpose: Focus on present-purpose
On Overcoming Odds: Trust yourself
On Growth: Ask yourself, “How do I?”


Want to Connect with John?

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