“I was afraid to be myself, but I was never afraid to dream…The Burmese government took away all of my dreams…no one should live like that.
I thought my foster family wouldn’t like me, but you make me feel at home.
I can never thank you enough for letting me be myself. Without you, I wouldn’t have found my smile.
I love you mom.”
-Azi, a former unaccompanied refugee minor, shares her love for her foster mom.
This week is National Welcoming Week. Hundreds of events are happening across the country to celebrate the gifts of new Americans and native-born Americans. As we lift up the contributions immigrants bring to our country, I’d like to highlight a special way migrants and Americans can come together to make a lasting difference: foster care.
Thousands of unaccompanied children cross the border into the United States each year, fleeing abuse, gang violence, poverty, and searching for a safe place where they can have hope for the future.
It isn’t only children from Central America that flee violence, persecution, and need refuge. Children come to the United States from across the globe—from Burma, Bhutan, Iraq, and other countries—seeking a home where they can live in safety. Many grew up in refugee camps; many have lost parents to violence.
These videos capture not only the lasting impact foster parents make on foster children, but also how children have a deeply transformative impact on their parents. It doesn’t take a special degree to change a child’s life. As one foster parent said, “kids just need one person to believe in them and be on their side.”
Take a second to watch these heartbreaking videos, below.