This post is inspired by the “What Foster Care Feels Like” gallery at Foster Focus Magazine dedicated to all the current and former foster youth, and especially to California Youth Connection – because you have given me a family, a community, belief in the power of change, and a reason to continue growing.
I’ve cried pleading tears of desperation,
hot angry tears that got me consequences and never consolation,
confused lost child tears in the padded walls of a group home quiet room,
sobbing heaving tears echoing through the empty halls of my first apartment,
and the dry-eyed, straight-faced tears that nobody outside my mind could see.
I didn’t know tears could also come from joy.
understanding that all the pain I’ve felt,
the pain which can not be named
of a past that I could hardly make sense of
is not a burden to hold quietly in my chest.
it is a pain shared by countless generations of kids
young, grown, deceased and yet to be born.
What I can not explain to those blessed by their upbringing
I need not explain to my brothers and sisters who have walked this path.
And finally, I know
that in my loneliness,
I was never alone.
I give my pain a new shape –
to lovingly mold my experience into something that can be used,
something that can grow wings and touch hearts.
These are tears of joy.