Friendships matter a lot when you are in foster care! Let Julia and Vanessa tell you a bit about it… Read more
Miss Julia has been in the child welfare system for nine years, and in that time, she has been to fourteen schools, 24 placements, and 4 pre-adoptive homes who decided not to adopt. It’s hard to describe Miss Julia, who she is and what she wants, without knowing those hard facts. With most kids I work with, I can tell you about their hobbies, what they like, what they hope for, but that’s harder with Julia. What she wants is to stay in one high school until she graduates. What she likes is whatever the people in her new foster home, neighborhood, and school like. Until she gets to know them really well! Then what she likes is the total opposite of what everybody else likes, which she’ll inform you with a very tough face, crossed arms, and a sarcastic teen girl tone of voice. She can be very convincing! But in my time with her, I’ve learned how to laugh at her “tough girl” show until she’s laughing, too, and admits she was just trying to get my goat. I’ve learned that when she starts a visit by getting in my car and announcing, “Ugh, I hate your car, ugh, I hate spending the day with you,” I can just turn on the radio and wait out about ten minutes of really detailed explanations of just why I’m so hate-worthy, and at the end of that silly little rant she will suddenly reveal that the kids at school found out she was a foster kid and made fun of her in gym class. She might even ask me what I think she should do, or if it’s okay to be as bothered by it as she is. And then, the moment ends, and she moves on to telling me just how stooooooopid the boys at her new school are, and why can’t I drive her somewhere with wi-fi, and hold on, turn this song up, this song reminds her of her mom, and also her first boyfriend, but also it was in a movie she really liked, though if I liked it, too, she definitely doesn’t.
In 24 placements and 4 disruptions, Miss Julia has learned how to build up a thick skin behind which she hides an extraordinarily sensitive, passionate, artistic, and loyal self. It can take a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a lot of really loud and terrible music played in your car, but once she’s learned you’re not leaving, the real Miss Julia creeps out and asks you unbelievably adorable questions, like, “Is it true that you can never stop loving your first love?” or “Why do people watch the news if it scares them?” or “Why did my mom decide to miss me growing up?” There’s a lot of soul hidden under that heavy dark eyeliner and teen girl sneer, and Miss Julia is going to make you work to find it. But it is there, and it’s worth finding.
Julia is open to any kind of family, but I suspect she’d do best with at least one mom, and a two-parent home. She likes babies, and has been wonderfully sweet in the past when in placements with developmentally or physically disabled foster or biological siblings. I suspect if I ask her what she wants in a home, she’ll just say “Wi-fi,” but I think she also needs a room close to parents, because tough as she is, she still gets nightmares and wants to know the adults are nearby. She does well with structure (though if you hear her tell it, she can totally take care of herself, gawd), and needs a family who knows when to approach and when to let her come to them. I suspect she needs a Taco John’s nearby. And she needs a family with a strong tolerance for loud noises, because when this one gets excited, she has the piercingist teenage girl shriek.
Overall, Miss Julia needs you. If this is the time, and this is the kid, call us – she’s waiting.
She describes herself as confident, sociable, and passionate, and thinks she gets along best with others who think of themselves that way, too.