Graduation

13250492_10210120239581243_922018816_n.jpgIt’s been one year since my son Troi graduated from high school. I am happy to say that he is gainfully employed and living on his own.

As we embark on this graduation season, I’d like to give some words of encouragement to the foster parents out there:

You are doing a phenomenal job and please keep up the good work.

That said, the odds of our kids actually graduating from high school are stacked against them and downright scary. After a kid turns 18 in foster care:

  • 1 in 4 youth experience homelessness.
  • 1 in 4 males spent time in jail.
  • 3 to 7 different placements on average.
  • 6 different schools on average.
  • 46% drop out of high school.

If you knew my son Troi’s story you’d be amazed.

If you knew my son’s struggle, you’d give him a standing ovation.

Troi beat the odds and graduated on time with his class, despite all of his struggles, obstacles, and barriers.

He is a Goodson! He is my kid! Stacey and I poured love, guidance, and support into him. Because of that support and love, he beat the odds. We broke that horrific cycle and, for that, we should be proud.

If you are a Foster Parent then stand up and applaud yourselves. You guys are the Real MVP: Most Valuable Parent.

Purpose

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A few years ago, I changed my career. During the decision-making process, I had to take money off of the table and, doing so, I was able to hear God calling me to my purpose. My purpose determined my mission of making sure all kids receive the love and care they deserve. I am a Foster Parent and foster care advocate because God told me to be one.

You often hear people say, “find your passion and make a career out of it.” But what if your passion doesn’t line up with your purpose? I wrestled with this question for years. I finally found my answer when I stopped doing what I wanted to do and started doing what God was calling me to do.

Because my purpose is now defined, my “why” became very clear. My “how” somehow became easier.

If I was asked ten years ago what I was doing for a living I would’ve said “Sales Account Manager” proudly. If you asked me that question today the answer would go something like: teacher, mentor, coach, youth development specialist, foster care advocate, author, blogger, speaker. Once I found my purpose I became very passionate about doing all of these things; it is what I do and I never turn it off.

So my question is this, what is your purpose and are you passionate about it?