I have had the privilege to intern with Family & Youth Initiative for the month of May and the experience was greater than I ever could have imagined. I have a personal connection to children of adoption and foster care as I was adopted from Russia when I was just a baby. I have been fortunate to be loved and cared for, however, I was never aware of the harder side to adoption/ foster care till now. My high school gave all the seniors a project, which was to go out into the “real world” and learn how we could contribute in it. This is where I found DCFYI.
I wanted to give back to an organization that was on the lines to my most vulnerable side. My own adoption is important to me and is the foundation to who I am. During my time with DCFYI, I have had the chance to learn so much about the adoption / foster care process. I have opened my mind to the reality of how children are treated in the system. Nothing is a Cinderella story. Being alone is never a good thing, but being alone and having no control is worse. An organization like DCFYI gives teens the support and guidance to grow into this world.
As I look back into my own life, many of the troubles I have been through and learned from have been with my adoptive parent. She is the one who held me when I was sad, played with me when I was lonely, and showed me my strength when I thought I didn’t have any. Everyone is deserving of a chance. No one needs to be alone. If you had the chance to have someone with unconditional love wouldn't you hold on to that? DCFYI has given me an open environment to discover laws, statistics, and the mental impacts on people who have been adopted or in foster care. Knowing what I now know empowers me to be the best person I can be from my own experiences.