Written by Kristy Graves, a member of our Young People’s Advisory Council and former young person in care.

Growing up, it was hard to believe I was loved. In my head, my parents hadn’t loved me enough to fight to keep me. My foster parents didn’t treat me very well, so obviously they didn’t love me. Society seemed to abandon me and only give me the bare minimum of help they had to, so there was no love there either.

I was always the foster kid, I was always different. I had boyfriends and their parents tell me I was damaged, I had so-called “friends” tell me that my past was too much baggage. I was always the girl left wondering if I would ever be valuable to someone, if I would ever truly matter. Would I be good enough for someone to love me for a long period of time?

No matter how hard I worked to love myself, and heal, there was still this small little girl who lived in my heart, huddled, waiting for the next person to hurt her. This was especially true for men in my life. My father is not a nice person, and was never nice to my mom. In fact when it comes to my mom, I have never seen her in a healthy relationship, with a good man. Needless to say I didn’t have much faith in men, especially when it comes to my heart.

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That was until a little over two years ago I met a very special guy named Kevin. From the moment I met him God pushed me and whispered “he’s special”. Despite my fear, I fought for this guy, and for the future I thought we could have. After spending some months getting to know one another we began dating, and I didn’t think I would ever be happier.

That was my belief until October 3rd, when he asked me to marry him. I never thought I would truly ever be good enough, deserving enough, to have a guy want to spend his life with me and mean it. Kevin loves all of me past, present and future and instead works hard to show me how much we deserve each other. The little girl living in my heart is no longer huddled afraid of rejection and disappointment, but is instead going Pinterest crazy planning the wedding of her dreams.

It’s a happy day, and I am one happy wife-to-be.

Read another post from a former youth in care.

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