Written by Kristy Graves, a member of our Young People’s Advisory Council and former young person in care.
In today’s day and age, T.V. shows manage to cover almost every issue there is. Pregnancy, drugs, gang violence, adoption — you name it. The exception to this is foster care. Often T.V shows will touch on adoption but never foster care. As a former youth in care, I often wondered why this was. Why don’t I see a character that I can completely relate to? Why doesn’t anyone talk about this? Then along came The Fosters, a show by ABC Family. I have to admit, when I found out J. Lo was the producer I was really worried. But this show has it all. Lesbian moms raising a family of kids who are culturally diverse and who are a mix of adopted, biological, and foster kids. The show begins around Callie and her little brother Jude who come to live with the Fosters through a series of unfortunate events and after a life of various foster homes.
The show isn’t perfect; it does have its typical spats of T.V. grandiosity. But it is relatable. Sometimes, I watch Mariana and Jesus with their addict mother and tears fall as I remember the same moments in my life.
Other times I defend Callie out loud when everyone chastises her for being so closed down and hard towards those around her. After all, was I not that broken girl? How long did I live in a protective shell of my own creation believing that loneliness was better than trusting another person? How long did I push people away in order to keep myself safe?
I see Callie’s protectiveness of her little brother and I remember my own fierce protection of my little brother. While all of this goes on, I wish for moms like Lena and Steph. For a family to accept and love me not despite who I am, but because of who I am.
The show is heartbreaking, funny, sad, happy, fun and romantic — but most of all it’s real. I am so thankful to J. Lo and the team of actors on this show for putting their talents towards portraying these issues and characters that could be based off my life, in a very real and serious way.
Most of all, I’m thankful that this show has brought the “T.V. family” into 2015 by showing the world that families do not have to be 2.5 kids and a white picket fence to be full of love, encouragement, and life lessons.
For showing the world that once you break down our walls, kids like me are loveable individuals, just like any other kid.