Throughout life, I believe, we are all destined to go through obstacles, trials and tribulations. These events can either, destroy your faith and break you down to the core or bring the best out in you and show you your destiny. Whether the reason is you are destined to face situations and problems good or bad, you can face them and give life its bull shit back or you can let life bring you to being miserable, disconsolate, and even suicidal. I, Demetrius Johnson, know how life can bring you to being exultant or becoming disheartened only because life has brought me to down to my feet at times and also life has strengthen me to bring the best out of me.
As a child that faced foster care from the age of two, I myself stood before many challenges that I had to overcome; some to this very day I still struggle with. I sometimes wonder if foster care a system to destroy or make you. I didn’t find out until I was 16 that Foster care is somewhat a business. Families are making money off a child’s misery and pain. Struggling with trying to find love, acceptance, family and happiness turned my heart into a cold and lonely figure. I was once told by a wise man “don’t search for happiness, live your life and one day when you awake she’ll be home.” It’s a very formidable feeling to have to grow up without either parent and without some type of structure in your life. You’re forced to have a relationship with complete strangers who only take care of you because of the income that will arrive on the 12th of the month.
Foster care is only one of many obstacles I have faced. Between losing my mom, having problems searching for love and acceptance; my life hasn’t been a walk in the park. Even when the mountains seemed too high to concur, when faith became just a blur, and when hope was dying as a child with a dream- I still believed in change. I believe in courage, strength, and I believe in a change. I believe in a future, I believe in foster children! We can rise above it and help change the world!
I stand now as a young man who just turned 18, I used to believe no one loved me nor cared about me. It seemed friends and family were just a dream and my world just came crashing down a bit more every day. The road I was walking down led to nothing but anger, agonizing pain, and loneness. To find myself, I had to stop isolating from everyone just because people made me promises and broke them. People hurt me, family and friends disappeared before a blink of an eye, and also the pain I experienced from being in foster care. I believe there is still good people out in the world. Just because your life may not be the way you want it to be it’s never too late to make an 180 degrees turn around.
I know my mother looks down on me and smiles. I am beating a system designed for money and to destroy children. Even when I am weak and the world seems to be on my shoulders, I promised my mother, before she died, no matter what I would find a way to overcome foster care. I will keep the faith and believe in what’s right. My heart can be crying while I’m in the middle of a smile. My entire life I have been through 30+ foster homes all around Brooklyn and Queens. I was feeling suicidal at times, not caring anymore. I was at the peak of my life but I wanted to finally give up because I had been arrested and sentence to some months in jail. This is when I changed my life at 16 and swore I would make a change; even though I knew it would be hard to get back on my feet. God has blessed me with a beautiful, caring, understanding girlfriend (Tyra); my astronomical foster parent, who is young and consider himself my brother (Kabar); an amazing social worker who stood by my side since I arrived in care ( Ms. Tony Ince); and so many more people who came in to my life and helped me believe in a future. They helped me believe that there are still good people in this world.
I am now a senior at Freedom Academy High School. I originally had a grade point average of 36. Now, I can gladly feel accomplished by saying I stand with an average of 81. From a child who used to fight, steal, and lie and so much more problems I dealt with; I am now a man of my word. A strong young man, who wants to become a lawyer for foster children. I want to change the lives of foster kids. I want them to know and believe they are not out there alone, I am here with them. We will continue to stand strong and fight this system together.
I won’t give up. I will make it in life, prove everyone who doubted foster kids wrong, and show them change will come. We will beat this system that was designed to destroy and take our future away. Even if our blue skies are now gray and everyday it seems you wake up angry, brokenhearted or you feel as if you can’t go on anymore; this is when you use your last breath and give life one more chance. Fight back and believe in what’s right, but most of all believe in yourself. I believe in all of us, the future may seem far away but change will come and we will stand up. This fight will bring the best out of us, this is just the beginning of a sign of a victory.