When I began my journey with New Horizons at the age of 14, I was not prepared for the adventure that lied ahead. The scary goal some fantastic, lighthearted people at New Horizons set up, was to place me with a forever family in which they were determined. I was completely doubtful at the time simply because the longest I lived in a home was 6 months and that was if I was lucky.
Needless to say, when I was placed with the Dicksons, I gave them a run for their money. Keep in mind, this was back when I was a savage (to put it nicely). No, I’m not talking bad mama jama wearing shades drop the mic type of savage, I’m talking primal instinct, back to the Stone Age savage. At the time, I had already given up hope and believed the Dicksons, among everyone else, would just give up on me. So for years, (3 to be exact) I pushed their buttons, hoping- just hoping they would give up on me and send me back like an unpaid letter in the mail. Like soldiers, however, they carried on. Fast forward 4 years later to the age of 18- I am happy to say New Horizons was right. I had found my forever family.
They taught me that showing emotion is NOT a weakness, and crying is ok! (We are all human! Let me just say, I had never cried so much in my life, but I’m glad I did). They taught me that even a broken hoodlum creature like myself deserved some tlc, and above all a second chance. A new beginning if you will. They gave me a taste of what it was like to actually have a childhood- though better late than never! They demonstrated what real love and kindness looks like and above all patience. (Did I mention- lord have mercy on the souls around me? ) Most importantly, I learned you don’t have to be blood to be family. In a way, they restored my faith in humanity and made me realize there ARE good people out in the world. So for that, I thank them.
I also want to thank all my caseworkers from New Horizons who helped me out along the way, checking on me and making sure my needs were met and actually caring and sometimes spoiling me (shoutout to my caseworker Cassie and her many partners through the years) I can now honestly say looking back and seeing who I was compared to who I am now, I am so grateful for the support that I received in order to turn me into who I am today. There’s a saying that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
Because of my adopted family, I have reached the end of that tunnel and now I see a bright future ahead of me and it’s because of them. -I’m graduating this year for goodness sake! (Let’s go class of 2020!!!) Never would I have thought I could push through if it hadn’t been for the support and stability they gave to me. Family is what I wished I had and family is what I was blessed with. So for that, on a serious note, a million times thank you.