Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Emily's quote collection

re·sil·ience noun \ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s\
: the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens

Emily walked Lady out of her stall and warned not to touch the pony near her face. “She flinches,” The 14-year-old added, “She was abused too.”

It was my first time visiting a group home, although I have volunteered for more than a year with the Heart Gallery, an organization that promotes adoption of foster children. I didn’t know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised that they had a pool, basketball court and stables for equine therapy. There was a normal kitchen, living room, and family room too. But make no mistake, this was not a home. Emily was taken from her home when she was four and half. She’d been living in various foster situations like this for a decade.

“I just want a childhood. I want to be taken care of. I want to be able to be silly and play and run until I’m so tired I drop,” She told the TV anchor featuring her for an adoption story.

I don’t recall her saying anything about being loved. Maybe she did and I missed it or maybe that was too much for her to hope for all at once.

Later, after the TV crew left and the cameras weren’t rolling, she showed me her room, or rather her bed. It was in a big room filled with lots of beds. But Emily’s little corner was different. My host proudly flattened the adhesive flowers peeling from the wall and wanted to show off her quote board. It was filled with inspirational messages and verses about faith. Her favorite came from baseball legend Babe Ruth.

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game”

Did you know resiliency is not considered a trait that people either have or they don’t?  According to the American Psychological Association, “It involves behavior, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.”

It’s a choice. It’s Emily’s choice.

How will you practice resilience?

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