My story with overcoming hardship is this. My biological mom was 17 when she got pregnant with me. When she gave birth to me she left the hospital. I immediately entered into the foster care system. And by the time I was a baby to about 12 years old, I lived in around a dozen foster homes.
I became a very angry, oppositional, defiant kid because that first adult I was supposed to trust broke my trust. So therefore, and it’s interesting because you might recognize this with a kid in your own life. Because one adult hurt my trust, then I assumed that every subsequent adult would break and hurt my trust.
So I pushed all these adults away. Some of these foster homes were great. Some of them were terrible. I experienced rape, abuse, a variety of difficult things.
And then when I was 14 I moved in with my final set of foster parents. And these 2 individuals completely and totally changed my life. Not because they were perfect, not because they were experts, not because they had all the answers, but because of consistent encouragement and consistent consequences.
If it was not for the Weidemeyers I would genuinely be dead, in jail, or homeless. That’s what all the statistics say. But because of them I now have the opportunity to give back the information that I learned from them and from so many other caring adults and invest that in the lives of young people and those that influence young people.
You see, I believe that every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story. And for me, the Weidemeyers were those caring adults.