JEFF MAY, Motivational Speaker - "If you want different, do different; You're the change!"
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Fostering Hope: A Personal Revelation

Just over a year ago, my mother experienced some complications in securing her passport for my wedding in Cancun, Mexico. 
 
Following some in-depth investigation, she was faced with fact that she was adopted-a fact that had been hidden and buried for nearly 50 years.
 
Upon digging into the past, we found a young teen-aged girl who was faced with fear, family shame and a very tough decision.  A decision that not only took away her voice, but her new-born child as well. 
 
As we looked further into these historic accounts, we found the compassion and concern of a stranger.  This stranger recognized that there was a need and she stepped up and met it.  This stranger’s compassion, over time grew into a mother’s love; a love that would instill values, morals, hope and forgiveness.
 
The woman, who was first a stranger and then a mother, fostered hope that someday the tough decision, the rejection experienced or the uncertain future, would not hinder the great destiny that awaited the new-born child.
 
I am happy to report that because of the love, hope and forgiveness that my grandmother cultivated then, again I call that stranger my grandmother, nearly 50 years later that teenaged woman was recently reunited with her new-born child whom she has lived within only 20 minutes of her entire life.
 
My grandmother fostered and left a legacy that went far beyond flesh and blood. 
It took me 25 years to discover that the woman I regarded as my grandmother my whole life didn’t hold that title through blood or marriage, but she fostered and held it through love.
Through my own journey, I’ve come to realize that foster care is a misunderstood, under-rated and sometimes under-appreciated privilege to not only impact immediate lives, but generations to come.
 
What you do now, by pouring out of yourselves into the lives of others, is affecting the lives of the children that will follow them. 
 
This service that we call foster care is at times performed without the promise of adoption or reunion.  Sometimes, it is only performed with the desire of investing and cultivating hope, love and character inside of the hearts and beings of young people.
For we understand that intentionally loved children produce adults who love on and with purpose.
 
However, the only thing we know is that it takes special people to give a special person something special that they’ve never really had……..HOPE.
 
Until the age of 26, I never knew the “truth” about my grandmother.  However, I’m not speaking of the tough decision, or the foster care and adoption; but I never really knew that I could be related to such an amazing individual not by way of blood and DNA-but through love and compassion for others.
 
You're the Change!

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