Things I Dealt With While Being In Foster Care

Things I Dealt With While Being In Foster Care

The beginning of an adolescent's stress and depression

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I've been a part of the system since I was 14. I remember the day like it was yesterday I was told that I could not get on the bus to go home, that I had to wait for the school's principal. An hour went past, and I was finally allowed to go home, but it was only a stop and go trip. I did not know that this would be the last time I would see my family for a while.

I have no privilege over where I could stay nor with whom I could stay with. As the social worker took me to my new foster home she told me 'You'll only be here for a week.' I believed her. Those words gave me hope that my life was not over. I began to feel trapped, I was already an hour away from my family. I found that the social worker was lying to me weeks later, once I realized that school was almost out and I was still in the same house.

One night I wanted to stay the night with my god-sister. I was told there was a background check that needed to be done, I was ready for the background check to be done so I could leave my current home. But at the time I did not know that it would take three to six months to have this done. That was the answer each time I wanted to stay somewhere, background check. When it came to staying over at a friend's house, I just stop asking because I already knew the answer.

They tell you that they want you to have a normal life. The day I was held up at school my life has not been the same since. Try being the kid almost living a double life, having all of your friends question your routine and actions because they notice that you haven't been yourself or you haven't been doing your normal routine. I wasn't a normal kid, I watched my friends and everyone who I once knew have all of the fun because I was trapped. All of these thoughts that went through my mind about why I had to be the one with the crazy life or the life that was unknown to everyone around you.

The thing that causes depression. Isolation. They move you because maybe your lifestyle at home was not the best fit for you, but you should not be moved hours away from the only people you know. That separation causes questions and emotions and in a teenage mind, you start to feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.



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10 Things I Learned When My Best Friend Got Pregnant In High School

In this world where you can be anything: be a friend (and be a good one).

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Life: full of amazing, unforeseen circumstances. How you roll with the punches only reveals your strength.
True friends are like diamonds: bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style." -Nicole Richie

I remember when I first heard the big news. I didn't want to believe it. My heart dropped. I was worried for you. What would happen? How would you get through this? Nothing we knew would ever be the same. Our world was about to change forever. I recalled the verse Isaiah 41:10, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you." I knew God was with you and would always be. I knew God needed me to be here for you, no matter what.

Turns out, you had this all in the bag. You handled everything with grace and dignity. You were strong even on your hardest days. You were overwhelmed with faith and you inspired me with your perseverance through the hardest times. I could not be more proud of who you became because of the cards you were dealt.

To Meaghan: I love you. I'm always here, no matter where. Hudson is so lucky to have you.

Here's what I learned from you and your sweet baby boy:

1. Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT the end of the world

Start making plans for the future. Pick out clothes, decorations, and toys. Help with all the madness and preparation. She would do the same for you. Plus, 9 p.m. runs to Toys-R-Us just to buy the baby some socks (because you do not know the gender yet) is always a good idea. You have to focus on the big picture. Life doesn't stop even when you want to.

2. No matter how much you want to freak out, remain calm

Getting unexpected news is never easy to hear. If needed, cry. Cry until you cannot anymore. Then, get up and be strong, she needs you. Be flexible (You want to come over to hang out? Right now? No, I'm not in the middle of ten thousand things, come on over). Be available (yes, even for her 3 a.m. insomnia calls just to see "what's up?") "Meaghan, why are you even awake right now?"

3. Radiate positivity. Always. 

This is an emotional time. The LAST thing she needs is someone bringing her down. "No, honey, you're glowing!" "You do not look fat in that bikini!!" "You are rocking that baby bump!" "Oh, that's your the third day in a row you're eating a Sonic burger for lunch? You go girl!"

4. Be ready for all the times: happy, confusing, stressful, sad, (but mostly) exciting

Mixed emotions are so hard, but look for the silver lining. With your support, she will be strong.

"Who knew picking out the brand of diapers to buy was so stressful?"

5. This world is a scary place. You never want to be all alone, so don't be. 

Like the song says, we, really do, all need someone to lean on. Just being there for someone goes a long way. "Meaghan what the heck are you doing in MY bed? How long have you been here?"

6. Lean on God. His plan is greater than we could ever imagine. 

When you don't know where to go, or who to turn to, pray! Pray for the burdens you feel. Pray for the future. Pray for patience. Pray for the ability to not grow weary. Pray for a heart of compassion. Pray. Pray. Pray.

7. Something we never knew we needed. 

Some of the best things in life are things we never knew we needed. Who knows where we would be without this sweet face?

"Hudson say Lib. Libby. L-- Come ON!" "CAT!" "Okay, that works too."

8. "Mother knows best"...is accurate, whether you believe it or not

Turns out, seventeen-year-olds don't know how to plan baby showers. Our moms have been there, done that. They want to be involved just as much as we do, so let them! Listen to their guidance. After all, they're professionals.

9. There will *almost always* be a "better way" of doing something...but, be a cheerleader, not a critic 

This is something many people struggle with in general, but it is not your DNA, it is not your place to be a critic. Let her raise her own baby. You are there to be a friend, not a mentor. ****Unless she's about to name the baby something absolutely terrible -- for the love of that baby, don't let her name that kid something everyone hates.

10.  At the end of the day, it's not what you have or what you know; rather, it is all about who you love and those who love you

Life has adapted, but for the better. We grew up, learned, and became stronger. All the while, we stayed friends every step of the way. We still have the same fun and most definitely, the same laughs.

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Goodbye Avon, Hello Athens

What I've discovered since leaving my hometown Avon, Ohio and beginning my new life as a student at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

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Twelve weeks ago today, I didn't know where my life would be right now. A year ago from today, I didn't know where my life would be right now. I only knew who I was then — a senior in high school. One who barely understood the idea of college and, with all honesty, didn't put much effort into trying to. I loved high school. As a freshman, I remember thinking that four years was a lifetime of... time. And for a while there, it did seem that way, time always seems that way — that is, until time runs out.

Each year passed by steadily until senior year arrived. Senior year came and left in the blink of an eye. Then came graduation, a surreal moment and spark of reality. Graduation didn't feel real. Naturally, summer followed... which was quite the drag. College gloomed over what felt like the entire summer and all of its aspects. My life slowly began fading into my future.

Eventually, my future arrived. And now, I'm living that past future. I'm here — at college — a rather long, anticipated arrival. I thought time passed rapidly in high school, but college proved me wrong. Since I've been here, imagining myself in high school is difficult. I did enjoy high school, but I did have regrets. I wasn't too involved. I didn't play sports. I didn't join many organizations. I wasn't friends with any upperclassmen. I mostly focused on my grades, only being content with them. I didn't think much of what I did mattered. And with all honesty, up until senior year, I was okay with my high school decisions. It wasn't until I started applying for college that regrets overflowed my mind.

People live on the idea that "everything happens for a reason" and I never quite caught on until after I graduated. Once I graduate, I realized that all the choices I made as a high school student, has shaped me into the better student I am here, right now at Ohio University. I can get involved — in sports, clubs, etc. I can befriend upperclassmen. I can strive for the grades I want. I can do anything I desire to as a student here at Ohio University.

So, I'd like to thank my high school self. Thank you for not caring as much as you should've. Thank you for being foolish and enjoying more of the social side of high school, rather than the academics. Thank you for trying your hardest, and understanding that it'll pay off. Thank you for choosing to attend Ohio University for the next four years.

Each year in high school brought me a new sense of happiness and knowledge that I wouldn't trade for the world. Here in college, every day is already a new adventure and each day only gets better... I can't wait to see where my journey here goes in the next four years.

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