My story begins with taking in my first foster child.
I am 27 and single, and had gotten an emergency call from a social worker a few days before asking me to take this little 6 year old child in because her current foster placement was not working, and they wanted her out as soon as possible. So I turned my dining room into a children's room in a few days and welcomed her into my heart and home. Being abandoned by my own biological mother and working with foster children in my non-profit that I founded, Wild Souls Ranch, I thought I had a good grasp on the child welfare system. But I was very wrong.
My foster parent experience was one of the hardest things I have ever done. To watch a child who had gone through 3 homes in a year before me, suffer and unravel at the hands of the child welfare system was almost unbearable for me. Because of my own past of abandonment I had never really experienced unconditional love. Like the kind you would feel with a mother. But my first week with my foster daughter I fell in love. I never knew that I had it in me to love a being so much, and to feel LOVED from another being. Or to even be capable of receiving that kind of love because of the walls I have built up over the years. It was that single experience that changed my heart and my life forever. When I found out that she would be moving to a therapeutic foster home out of our county to receive more help that I could not give to her and that our county could not give her, I wanted to give her something that reminded her of our short time together. So I ordered two giving keys. With the word LOVED across them both. To remind her that wherever she goes, and whatever home she is placed in on her journey through the foster system, she will always be LOVED by me. And a key necklace for me..... to remind myself that I once experienced an unconditional kind of love that I had been searching for my whole life. That I was capable and deserving of being LOVED.