The Importance of Belonging
“They told me I was lucky. I didn’t feel lucky.”
- Skye, age 12, after being moved abruptly from one foster home into a prospective adoptive home in another city.
“Went to foster care 1st time … Bothers me: 10/10 My mom left me, kind of went away. Bothers me: 10/10 Overdosed on pills, hospital, 13-years-old. Bothers me: 1/10.”
- Skye, age 12, after being asked by a counsellor to rate her areas of trauma on a scale from 1 to 10.
“You’re born into a family. It should be forever. What’s the point of really connecting? What if I’m never ready to be adopted?”
- Skye, age 13.
Other Youth Voices
My family is everything to me, knowing them, seeing, them, finding them, keeps us alive.
Like my cedar hat, belonging is woven into all parts of my life, my being, my past and my future.
Sometimes the people I feel are important to me are not always someone other people think are safe.
My life with belonging looks like having a seat at the table and no one questioning that it’s for me, including myself.
Belonging is hard for me to feel or have when the people around me and ‘caring’ for me don’t look like me, speak like me, or respect me, it makes it harder to feel like I belong here.
Having a placement does not mean I have a home. Putting my paddle in is where I feel most at home. Home is where people know what I like to eat, where my bedding is my favourite colour, where my birth family can visit me, and where I am remembered.
I need you to remember I am not hard to place, it is not hard to find family for me, the system is hard to survive.
RESOURCES ON BELONGING
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