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Lessons Learned from Foster Care

Here is yet another story from one of the many people I have had the chance to meet through my work with The Kim Foundation whose wide range of gifts, talents, experiences, life journeys, and stories to tell inspire me. Each person we encounter enriches us as we observe their commitment, their courage, their faith, and their amazing personal resiliency. What incredible role models they have become for me!

Jessyca is an amazing lady, and it’s difficult for me to share her story without finding that old familiar lump in my throat. Jessyca is a product of the child welfare system. She was removed from her biological mother by 18 months of age because her mother was unable to protect Jessyca from the men in mom’s life. Pneumonia, cigarette burns on her feet, a skull fracture; there is more, but that lump is here again, were all things young Jessyca had to endure. 

Jessyca was in foster care several years before being adopted by a family in Missouri. Jessyca shares her story as a testimony to how two sisters with the same birth mother and very similar circumstances can have two very different life outcomes.  

Jessyca has a biological sister who spent her early years with their birth mother. She is mildly retarded; her injuries, impaired development and seizure disorder, are a result of abuse and neglect.

One sister, Jessyca, has a graduate degree and has dedicated her career to championing the rights of children for protection and safety. The other sister continues to struggle emotionally and physically.  

Jessyca believes the crisis in the child welfare system is a burden we all share. No one agency can respond to the needs of all children and families. We must all hold child abusers accountable. We can help educate young parents, giving them the tools to be good parents, we can initiate creative ways to provide preventative services. 

Jessyca has been in the homes of gang members, drug dealers, drug addicts, felons, and those with severe and profound emotional illnesses. Jessyca does what she can to help children in need since she, too, was once a child waiting for some one to rescue and protect her.