In a month in a half I will be aging out of the state foster care system, moving to a new state and attending a new university. I am not sure how I should feel. For the journey in foster care wasn’t an easy one but the state of CT foster care system became my parents. They raised me!
I guess in a way I feel institutionalized, I’ve always had health insurance, a place to stay (foster homes, shelters and group homes), and social workers. I will now have to pay co-pays for my medication, continue my education, afford my education; find housing on my own, and manage a job, school, church and mental health.
Life in 23 years has taught me to have a voice, advocate for myself, knowing that it’s okay to cry, my history has made me victorious and not a victim. I have not always had a stable family for support, I mean, my family did what they could; my biological mother tried and I have every right to hate her and my family for allowing me to get hurt and leaving me in a state system, but, it’s not how I am going to start my journey as a young adult and it wasn’t meant to be any other way.
I can’t believe it, I’ve survived and have successfully aged out of the the CT’s foster care system! No more court dates, family visits, worrying about living in group homes and foster families. It feels great. I feel freedom. I feel joy. I feel fear.
I am moving to another state (Florida) and attending Palm Beach Atlantic University. I have a new found responsibility of taking control of my life. I feel a release and a breakthrough from my past, my family, organize religion and labels. I’m starting over and free to live a life worth living for. I know my fears will subside and I will find my balance. I’ve been given the experience and support to make it.
I’m just excited to leave, and I hope when I am traveling to college that I see a sign that says:
Welcome Domenia L. Dickey to West Palm Beach, Florida and Palm Beach Atlantic University.