A healthy relationship in my life today
Perspectives from children and youth in foster care

In the last issue of Fostering Perspectives we asked young people in foster care, “Describe a healthy relationship in your life today. How do you know it is healthy?“ Here’s what they had to say.

* * * * *

First Place

Dionna, age 16 

Healthy relationships contain: trust, loyalty, forgiveness, laughter, honesty, and unconditional love.

I am thankful to have a healthy relationship with my dear friend, Tashianna. I can talk to her about anything, even my darkest secrets. Just like any other relationship, we have our disagreements and arguments, but we are able to settle it out. We always forgive each other. Tashianna will always have my back and I will always have hers. When I tell her about my insecurities she always makes me feel better. Tashianna will always tell me the truth when I’m in the wrong, not just with her but with other people as well. Even when I don’t want to hear it, she still keeps it real with me.

My relationship with Tashianna is healthy because we can overcome any obstacle we face. Even if we are not on speaking terms I know she loves me and that our relationship will never die out.

Dionna received $100 for taking top prize in the writing contest.

* * * * *

Second Place

Adam, age 16

I have a very healthy relationship with my foster family. We don’t argue, we don’t yell. We enjoy being around each other….

I had severe back problems [when I came to them]. They noticed and I had to have MAJOR surgery. They stayed with me in the hospital for 16 days and never left my side….

I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time and I am very, very grateful for that. When I first got here I really didn’t know what love was. Now I am treated with all the love and affection I’ve always wanted in my life but really never had. I love them and they love me. That is a healthy relationship.

Adam received $50 for taking second prize in the writing contest.

* * * * *

Third Place

Chidubem, age 17

[When] my mother told the judge that she didn’t want to/ couldn’t keep us, I felt unwanted and unloved… I felt that if the most important people in my life were told they could only pick one person, they wouldn’t pick me. Not one person, not my mother, my sisters, or even my best friend. I believed that if people had to choose between having to be with me and anyone else, they would take their shot with someone else. Truthfully, I wouldn’t have picked myself….

[But today] I believe Mrs. Chevy, a foster parent, would pick me…. [Now] for the first time in over three years, I would pick myself. I love myself. I want myself….

[Since] Mrs. Chevy helped me love myself, I’ve been able to properly receive love from others. As cliché as this is, the healthiest relationship I have today, is with me. And isn’t that the most important thing?

Chidubem received $25 for taking third prize in the writing contest.

* * * * *

I Have a Healthy Relationship with . . .

My twin . . . . I don’t just say that because we are twins, I’m saying that because it’s true. I know our relationship is very, very healthy because she tells me true things that will help me get through life or a situation. Sometimes I don’t wanna hear it, but at the end I always find out what she said was true. Another way I know our relationship is healthy is she never hurts me mentally, physically, emotionally, or verbally. . . . She never says things about my weight. . . . She builds me up every day mentally by pushing me to do what’s right and making me a better person. — Gabriella, age 16

My adoptive mom . . . we get along so well no matter what happens. Also, I know that if I ever mess up in my life, she will be there to forgive me and help me out. That’s why I am glad to call her my mom. . . . The number one key for a healthy relationship is FORGIVENESS and my mom always forgives me no matter what. The relationship I have with my mother is the best relationship I have ever had. — Dawn, age 18

My foster parents . . . . They took me in and for the first three months I didn’t trust them, but slowly I realized they truly cared. I started to believe that my mom left me cause she didn’t love me, so I took all my anger at my biological mom and took it out on my foster parents. 2016 was my fourth year with them. They are planning on my adoption.

What really makes a long-lasting, successful relationship? Well for starters LOVE has a big role. Love isn’t a word you just say. You have to show love. Patience and forgiveness helps you a lot. You have to be able to forgive and be patient even when you’re at your worst. Love isn’t about expensive gifts but about the laughter, the memories, and the inside jokes you develop over time. . . .

We went through hard times together, yet they still love me unconditionally. I used to have very little self-esteem and pretty much hated myself because of what happened to me as a child. There were a couple of times when my foster parents would compliment me and say I looked nice and I would blow it all out of proportion. I would scream and say “you never loved me,” “you are lying to me!” . . . . I would keep screaming and screaming, saying I hated them and was gonna walk on their graveyard and laugh.

Sometimes I look back and wish I could take back what I said. I didn’t deserve such a caring family, but I love them! What shocks me the most is that they still love me to this very day. — Andrea, age 12

My foster parents. . . . I have been in foster care for almost four years. When I came to foster care I didn’t know anybody. I was scared the first night and the second, and maybe the third. The next couple of weeks were OK because I was just getting to know everybody and they got to know me. I felt a lot better. When my foster parents went on vacation, I went too. They treated me like their own child and I liked that. When I got in trouble, they would ground me. When I came home from school my foster parents would help me with my homework and I got good grades . . . . When it came to holidays, I would participate in the activities and spend time with family. I learned a lot and I’m getting better.
— Faith, age 13

These young people received $20 for having their essays published.

* * * *

Curious about Our Next Writing Contest?

Click here.