“The biggest feeling of joy I get is watching them take care of each other. They look out for each other and have each other’s backs. It’s what I wish I had as a kid, what I now know I needed. Being able to make a difference in their lives and help change their outlook by being trustworthy means the world to me.”
I come from a big family – I was the oldest of 6 siblings. I always thought we would be close when we got older, but life circumstances changed that. When I was 11 years old our home was reported unsafe, and my siblings and I were forced to split up and enter the foster care system.
I spent time in different group homes and families, but I kept running away. There was definitely trauma to my situation, and I didn’t realize until I was older how much of that was from not being with family that I knew I had out there. Even now as adults, my siblings and I struggle to connect. We lack that bond of growing up together, and I so wish it could be different. I even tried to take care of my younger siblings. When I turned 18, I became their foster parent. Unfortunately it was really difficult to parent my own brothers and sisters, and they ended up back in the system.
These experiences led me to my current focus in life, my children. I have adopted a large sibling group of 4 boys, and I am fostering their half-sister as well. I am happy to provide unconditional love, food, shelter, and clothing. But most importantly, I am so proud to be able to keep these siblings together. Being in foster care with all the uncertainty that brings is difficult enough – the least we can do is keep kids with their own siblings.
The biggest feeling of joy I get is watching them take care of each other. They look out for each other and have each other’s backs. It’s what I wish I had as a kid, what I now know I needed. Being able to make a difference in their lives and help change their outlook by being trustworthy means the world to me.
It’s not always easy, but when you see a sibling group together and the love and bond that they’re building it’s beautiful. They have experienced separation, they are hurting, but they are together.
Ms. Johnson is a foster/adoptive parent through CV’s Family Foster Care program. Thousands of young people are needlessly removed from their families each year and are stuck in the foster care system awaiting placement. The groups who linger in the system longest are large sibling groups and older teens. CV partners with amazing people like Ms. Johnson, who provide the unconditional love and belonging that these children deserve.