One of my most glamorous friends took me out for a martini and shared with me a very shocking, but inspirational story. For the sake of privacy, I’ll call her Marvelous.
Now Marvelous is truly marvelous. She’s a fashion professional and has traveled the world working for Vogue and now runs her own division in a fashion industry business. Her conversation is fascinating as she draws stories from her adventurous life and combines it with canny insights, which I am sure is partly due to her masters degree from an Ivy League school. Her sense of style is unerring and when I visit her house I ahh and ooo over her gorgeous artwork. Did I mention she’s also a gourmet cook and can whip up the best Portuguese and Italian dishes? Want to know what’s hip and happening? Ask Marvelous. Not only does she have her finger on the pulse of trends, not only has she been to the latest “it” club, or “must dine” restaurant, she’s also on a first name basis with the owners and staff. People love Marvelous instantaneously. She’s smart, funny, cool, and successful.
So back to her shocking secret. As I sipped my martini she revealed a very personal story.
Marvelous’s dad had recently passed away, and she was named executor of his will. She was sorting through his papers, when she found documents that seemed to say she had been in foster care. What?!?! She had no recollection of being in foster care!! But then she talked with her sister, and the memories came back. Oh, yes, when she was itty bitty, Marvelous was a foster kid who was eventually reunited with her biological parents.
So what’s so inspirational about this story? Here is someone that I absolutely admire. Here is someone enjoying a super fabulous life. She’s surrounded by people who love her, she has a wonderful career, she’s in a good financial position. And that person is a foster care alumnae.
There will be days that I worry about the future of any foster children placed with me. Just read the alarming statistics about foster kids’ odds for unemployment, criminal activity, drug use, and unplanned pregnancies once they become adults. But a critical part of any parent’s job is to see the potential for something wonderful inside their children. Thanks to Marvelous, I will have the faith to envision a beautiful life for children in my care, as I have proof that a rocky start, a stint in care, and reunification can ultimately have a happy ending.
If you have any stories of foster kids growing up to do wonderful things, please share them! Let’s dream beautiful dreams for our kids.