“There is no foster kid look. The kids are not the ones who did something wrong. They are victims , or as I prefer, survivors of abuse, neglect, and exposure to things that they should never even know about”
Our spotlight interview this week is with Lizzie, a success story from Kids In Distress.
Q: How did you end up speaking for KID?
A: “Mark knew my family, and thought I would be the right person to give the speech. There aren’t many teenagers out there who have success stories”
Lizzie and I spoke for a couple of minutes about KID and her family. She started out at Kids In Distress, and thanks them for her meeting her forever family; while it is not the foster family she started out with, it is the one she will be with for life. Kids In Distress helped her with a great therapist, and was there for her. Lizzie wants to be a Physician’s Assistant, has six brothers and sisters of varying ages, and is about to enter high school.
Then we moved on to a bit more about her and went slightly deeper into what it was like being in foster care and how she is changed for it.
Q: You’ve mentioned that people say “you don’t look like you came from foster care”. How do you usually respond to comments like that?
A: “People say ‘you don’t look like you came from struggles…but I’m definitely not the same person I was before foster care. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.”
Q: You said in your speech that initially, you spent time trying to push people away?
A: “I always thought if I was bad my mom would just kick me out. I was scared because I wasn’t sure if she would adopt me or where I was gonna go…I thought if I pushed her away I could get it over with”
Q: And how are you different now?
A: “My behavior is different. I didn’t have much of a future planned for me before, I was going down the wrong path.”
Now, Lizzie likes helping people and is a straight A student who takes honors class. Live Free Be Strong and KID helped her to work on her fear of public speaking by giving her the chance to speak at our third empowerment symposium, which was held at Fort Lauderdale High School last March. When asked if she had any advice for students still stuck in foster care she told us “acting out won’t get you there. Express yourself in better ways”. Great advice for foster kids and for students everywhere.
Her symposium speech ended with a quote from Lizzie’s mom: “You may not have grown in my belly, but you definitely grew in my heart”. After hearing her words of motivation to others and of what she personally overcame, I can guarantee she grew in the hearts of many others as well.
Great job, Lizzie! Keep on being you.