Summer family vacations are the best. It is a time to have fun, bond with family, and enjoy the beach / outdoors. Unfortunately, I didn't get to experience many family vacations growing up as a foster care youth. My foster parents did not take me, the foster child, along for family vacations. Instead I was placed in another foster home to wait for their return. It certainly sent a horrible message to me as a child that in many ways I was not a part of the family. Otherwise, I'd be at the beach too.
In high school, I was fortunate to find a family that cared enough about me to make me a part of their family. For the first time, I got to travel to the beach and so many amazing places with my family. Those vacations were some of my favorite high school memories. Their willingness to open up their hearts to me made the world of difference in my life.
It is my hope that every kid in foster care will become a part of a special family like I did, memorable vacations included.