My son was talking to a young child who is a veteran of foster care. My son mentioned that he turns 18 soon. The foster child says with great sympathy in his voice “oh you can’t live at your home any more, huh?”
I explained that my son won’t be going off to college soon, so he’ll be staying with us for a while longer.
The foster child just stared back at me with a blank look.
Then it hit me.
For this child, turning 18 means being kicked out of your home, because you no longer qualify for foster care. In this child’s mind, growing up means “aging out.”
Pretty sad that he didn’t even know there was another way of living, where kids voluntarily choose to move out and parents make them promise to visit frequently. Where turning 18 doesn’t mean losing your family and home.