“I will never let my past define who I am…”

"I will never let my past define who I am."

Sometimes the messages we receive are hard to read…

“My name is Amanda, I have spent my entire life in and out of foster care. It all started when I was 5. I was originally placed in foster care because my mother was on drugs and her husband was physically and sexually abusing my siblings and I.Shortly after being placed in the care of the state it was thought to be a good idea that I go live with my step fathers brother; that’s right they sent me to live with a non retaliative whos brother was just placed in jail for physically and sexually abusing me. As statistics go most tendencies to sexually assault a child and the urge to abuse your children is passed down to you by your parents, this was no exception in my new family. So shortly after being placed there the same abuse started again, this time I had two parents inflicting the abuse not just one. I was legally adopted by my new family when I was 7, not once was I pulled aside by a social worker to make sure there was no abuse going on. Because of the fact I was never pulled aside no one ever found out about the abuse, and the adoption was finalized. Over the years the abuse kept getting more and more severe, I even tried to report them to the police! Everytime my adopted parents would tell the police a list of reasons why I possibly had mental problems and that I was just making these things up, they were never questioned. I lived through this abuse until I turned 14. One day in a class at school I broke down crying, I revealed everything to my teacher that day. The police were called and finally I was believed. I was returned to foster care that night. For the next 4 years I would move over 12 times and attend 10 high schools due to the inconsistency of the foster care system. I was once told I had a better chance of winning the lottery than graduating with my high school class and going off to college because I had moved so much and I never had time to get caught up on the new work my school assigned me. Well I’m happy to say on June 5th 2013 I walked across the stage with my class and received my diploma, and I am currently attending a private lutheran college. One day I will become a lawyer and help change the laws, so the things that happened to me will never have to happen to another child again. I will open up a respite center for children living in group homes or foster homes, so when they feel alone and like theres no reason to move forward they will have somewhere to go and they will always have somebody to talk to. I wont stop until I have made a difference.”

After reading this message in a promise card request, I spoke with Amanda on the phone. She is doing well and is even playing softball in college because I said I would is so very proud of her accomplishments. Share this post if you are too.

Please know that there are resources available for the victims of sexual violence. You are not alone: http://rainn.org