Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012 1:13:32 AM
The days were getting longer--the anticipation of receiving a phone call from Polinsky Childrens Center; a 24-hour facility for the temporary emergency shelter of children who must be separated from their families for their own safety, or when parents cannot provide care, was getting the best of me. One of the most heartfelt moments I have ever shared with my mom, Ruth, was when she looked at me and said, “It’s time to go pick them up, hurry!” That was before we both held Lizbeth in our arms; at the moment I felt an immense feeling of responsibility and instantaneous love. Weeks prior to receiving this phone call, I was struggling with different aspects in my life, family was there but never an aspect that I completely understood. For the past year and a half prior to this phone call my mother, Ruth and father, Charles had submitted several documents to become adoptive parents. The closest they ever came with the process was with temporarily taking care of children, until the children’s case was closed. That’s where Angelina age of 5, David age of 2, and Lizbeth 11 months old came into my life. These three magnificent children won my heart over from the moment I gave each one of them a hug. The reason why they were in Polinsky, was the case of an abusive father and a terrified mother that was worried for the well being of her children. The details to the case are ones that melt the heart and bring tears to one’s eyes; fortunately these kids were safe at last. I viewed the future as promising, as things stood, the aspect of family wasn’t very clear to me, I figured that with the presence of these children, all four of us could subtly and not so subtly figure it out together. As hoped, the meaning of family became evident. In my opinion, family isn’t just blood related; moreover family is who you can bare your soul to, who will be near your side for the good and the bad. Looking back now, the best months of my life as an adolescent were the months with these three enlightening children. The experience and understanding I developed towards the deeper meaning of family through foster care has influenced me to pursue opportunities where I can interact with foster children. The following New Year I plan on volunteering at Polinsky and closely interacting with their featured program, “Promises2Kids.” The program advocates programs focusing on Prevention & Advocacy, Protection & Support, and Education & Training. How I plan to be the Change in 2013 is beginning at a local level, spreading the word and influencing others into joining programs that would benefit an entire community over time.