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As a former foster child, my passion is advocating for and with foster care youth, publicizing the challenges that they face and addressing their developmental and emotional needs through workshops.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Jubani by Gigi Anders

The strength of Gigi Anders' writing is in her emotional honesty. While reading her book about growing up Jewish and Cuban, I was impressed more by her candor than by her writing style.

Here is a particular quote that spoke to me:
"I was learning the ropes, the ropes of people's love limitations, and settling for what little I could scramble to get. My deduction: I may have to steal the love I crave. Where can I go to shoplift love? Maybe I'm just not interesting enough to linger over, so I'd better work on that.

I must be burdensome and not worth putting time and effort into. My needs must be too big and unwieldy, for meeting them takes too long and takes too much out of others who have more important things to do with their time. My feelings about the state of my needs don't matter. I will always be alone in this world."

This is a painfully honest statement of feelings. To one extent, it is true and to another, it isn't. The prophecy about being forever alone for example...

A friend of mine once told me, "Lisa, people are born alone and they die alone. In between then, they have other people in their lives who come and go. In between then, they always have God."

There were times, when I was processing my foster care experiences in my late-teens and early-20s, that friends I shared with were overwhelmed by the emotions that I shared with them. It was indeed "too much." That happens. Emotions can be very overwhelming.

But that said nothing about my personal worth. As time went by, I was able to sort through those experiences, deal with the emotions and figure out a way to use those experiences for good. It's a "beauty from ashes" sort of thing.

People do have love-limitations. That's a fact. But to assume that their human fallibility means that you as a person are unloveable? That would be to believe a lie.

Have I ever shoplifted love? I married far too quickly. My husband and I rushed our courtship. We wanted instant-family. The first year was tumultuous. But now, we have done the tough work of building a marriage. Trust, communication and honesty.

I guess I still believe in happy endings. For all of us.


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