Standing behind the group from which I was chatting….. I caught the eye of a small, slender girl with tears in her eyes. She patiently waited to talk with me. When the crowd dispersed, she walked up to me as tears were coming down her face now and she hugged me. I knew there had to be a story here …. and THIS is her story.
Anna is 24 years old and engaged. I met her when I was asked to speak at a local church to a young couples class on adoption. On the outside, Anna looks like a typical 24-year-old–bright, smart, beautiful and so excited about what lies ahead for her in this world.
However, as Anna shared with me.. she has been “broken” and yet managed to survive.
You see when Anna was 5 years old.. her father went to prison and her mother was on the streets fighting her drug addiction. Anna was an only child and ended up entering the foster care system. She has had more “residences” than she can count. As she grew older, it became clear to her that her “biological parents” were not coming back for her. She said she had some nice “residences” with nice people and she had some poor “residences” with some not so nice people. New school after new school, new home after new home she never felt settled but she yearned for a forever home. She knew she had love to give and she knew that she had love to receive.
She waited and waited to be adopted– in her words “I was a good kid, I went to school, I didn’t cause any problems” and yet no forever family came along. She thought “What was wrong with me? Why isn’t anyone coming for me? Doesn’t anyone care?”
At 16 years old, living in a group home Anna decided that it was time for her to take matters into her own hands. She walked down the street to a local church and became active in the youth program. As she puts it. “I was there every time the door opened.” She wanted to be so involved in a community in hopes that “someone” would find her and give her a forever home. She told herself that God would forgive her some day… because she always felt like she was “using” the church to get what she wanted. (Surely God would understand that all she wanted was to have a family and be loved.)
A year and a half goes by and now Anna is entering her senior year in high school. This church that was going to give her a forever family– didn’t come through. She felt broken and betrayed. Sure the church surrounded her with a “sense” of family, a place to go, but she yearned to have that family, a place to call HOME.
What was she going to do after high school? At 18- she would opt out of the system. Time was running out…
Stay tuned for Anna’s journey… (Its a good one!)