Letter to Youth in Foster Care or Any Hurting Human: Try Stepping Off The Tracks!

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That shrill whistle of a speeding train blows and children come running. They stop short of danger to appreciate from a distance the magnitude of that aggressive force barreling down upon them. They hear their mamma’s warning ringing in their ear to “STAY OFF THE TRACKS!

Most of them do anyway. There is a world of kids that never received that warning. My birth mother couldn’t give me that guidance towards safety because she could never seem to stay off the tracks herself.

As difficult as this is to share, my mother died walking those tracks. I don’t talk about my mother’s suicide much, but I will for those of you who need to hear.

She died in an instant. But then again, she didn’t. She actually died in a process, by throwing herself in front of danger time and time again. She did so until it became too hard to discern anymore that exact moment that she needed to jump off those tracks.

She allowed herself to be enslaved to these tracks in many ways that all equated to a lack of respect for herself. She could not seem to hang onto that internal voice that said, “I deserve more than this! I have something good within me worth offering to the world!”

But she did have something good to offer! And so do YOU!

#1. Nobody in this world is a mistake! We are all gifts of light just waiting to ignite- just waiting to shine!

Sometimes, our light grows dim or flickers under the wind of a darker force: abuse, neglect, heartache, rejection, shame. These forces can be harder to shine against than others often care to understand. But the good news is that there IS a world of people who understand.

Look to them! Seek the warmth of THEIR light. Ask how they maintain their sparkle. Then, emulate them!

#2. When you find someone who has the peace of true happiness, you don’t have to wait for them to adopt you. Adopt from them those attributes that light up the world that they exist within!

You may feel like you don’t deserve the goodness they have found, but drink from that cup anyway. Nourishment is the right of anyone who will receive it. You deserve the “good life” as much as anyone else!

You probably don’t instantaneously feel worthy just because I said so, huh? So, try this…

#3. Remember that sometimes, we have to DO before we can BE!

It’s like learning a new trade. You are not really a mason until you lay down that first brick. Begin building your own internal foundation by laying solid and unshakable structures of goodness in your heart.

“Umm, how?” you ask? I have been told that I’m “no good” my entire life! “Worthless. Useless. Trash.” I have been disregarded, trampled on, and tossed aside in more ways than you can imagine.

STOP RIGHT THERE!

Ask yourself by whom? Are the people who have made you feel this way or said these things to you, the people that you look at and say, “Wow, they really have got it all figured out!”

#4. Stop letting people who choose to throw off their “bricks of goodness” destroy the beauty of what you are trying so hard to build!

Because that is all they are trying to do! TRUST ME! They are desperately seeking some company in the solitude of their aching souls. Don’t listen to miserable people anymore!

See #2 again if you need a refresher as to who to listen to!

I know the road to peace and happiness is not always smooth, but we CAN jump off those tracks of destruction! We can step towards that uncertain path that we see lingering off to the side. It looks SO long and undeveloped and all you see are those mountains on the horizon, but it is sitting there- your path- just waiting for YOU to settle it.

So how do you start towards it?

#5. You simply turn up your light! 

It’s so much harder for that train to catch you when you can see it coming! Exercise gratitude and hope and faith and love- EVERY opportunity you get! Do this and someday, you will feel brave enough to look behind you. You will find that the train is lost in the distant darkness, while you have moved miles and miles away from those lonely tracks.

You will then turn your face back forward to find that you are lighting your way to a brighter reality than you ever imagined possible!

 

 

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Liz Hunter

Liz is a Social Worker, Foster Alum, Adoptee, Foster & Adoptive Parent, Writer, & Public Speaker. She is currently in the process of publishing a memoir, chronicling her 15 year journey to adoption and the 7 years she spent in the American foster care system. Her degree specializations are Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, & Criminal Justice. She founded Foster Noise/Adopt Peace in hopes of creating a forum to elevate the voices of the real life heroes and survivors of the foster care system.

10 Comments

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    • Liz Hunter Beth Hunter says:

      I’m sorry that the site malfunctioned on you. :( That’s frustrating! I too am relatively new to blogging, but I’ll try to offer you a few tips. First, it can help boost your blog if you attach it to a facebook fan page. People spend such a significant amount of time on fb, so it is a great way to improve visibility. Second, keep your blog posts focused, tight, and concise. We live in a hurried world, so the quicker people can read and get the point, the more likely they are to indulge or keep reading. Third, add a compelling visual to your posts. People get sucked in by images. Man cannot live by word along- at least that is what society says! Hope these tips help, and I’m glad you are interested in this topic I am bringing “noise” to! We need more people who care!

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    • Liz Hunter Beth Hunter says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I have a few ideas up my sleeve for the near future. I’m also on fb under Foster Noise/Adopt Peace if you want to follow there.

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