Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Poem Woven of Ache and Beauty written by a foster care child

A Poem Woven of Ache and Beauty

November 8th, 2013 | by Jedd Medefind | Categories: Adoption, Foster Care | 1 Comment

The CAFO “Families for Children” Conference today in Orlando pulsed with energy, stories and rich instruction on how churches can effectively act for foster youth and families.  One thing I’ll long remember is a poem written by Juliette Lauk, a 17-year-old whose vibrant smile makes a shooting star look dull.  Juliette spent much of her childhood in foster care before being adopted as a teen by a young couple just 14 years her elder.
The Lauk family shared their unforgettable story via live interview on stage.  It’s a story with hurts no child should ever have known…struggles and dashed hopes…and ultimately the formation of an unlikely family.
We hope to ultimately make the video of the interview—or at least audio—available.  But for now, Juliette gave me permission to share a poem she’d shared with me when we were preparing for the interview.  Written while Juliette was in the 10th and 11th grades, it speaks transparently of both the deep ache of her early years…and hopes born through her parent’s love.
No longer will I bleed
So pitifully I stretch
out my hand.
I clench my fist till my
wrist bleeds.
my body bleeds dry as
I sit in a closet in order to contain these emotions
in hopes they would
not define me,
yet they consume me,
they torture me and I bleed.
Those emotions release suppressed memories.
Displaying all my insecurities
mocking my dignity,
stolen from me
They take all the mirrors and
surrounded me
and I see nothing!
Not even my reflection.
However, I’m not sure if
I want to see my reflection
standing in a puddle of pain
I stood as my mindset
Is unable to move.
Still I get ready to smile
the camera captures on two
Right after that yellow light flashes…
I turn back to black to blue
I need not to be
placed in pity
I am already there
as well as the voices in my head, and
the shadows that
I could not run from.
With every step I take they
follow me, they take from me
till I have nothing but my name,
And I shall hold on to it
For it is the only thing
that remains the same.
It is the only thing I am
sure of and
though people may change it,
it shall not change
So I shall carry it with all its
disgrace. With all its shame.
I shall embrace it
With all its beauty
that will never change.
My only trace of consistency, though I live in constant change, inevitably
running from the shadows, that haunt me.
I ran from state to state of mind.
I shall run no more!
I must face those
who defaced my mentality.
Causing me to
Confuse my worth
due to the work
of human hands.
Given over to the ideas of promiscuity
because someone decided to
erase barney and barbies from
the t.v.
Games lost their meaning
“let’s play hide and seek”
In Fright, I would hide, in hopes that he
Might not find me,
Just for one night,
everything would be alright.
In my innocent
mind I wondered why I
could not just turn over the sand. Rewind time.
I wished someone could see in my hazel eyes
that I cried as I tried to
verbalize all the words I could not find in my undeveloped mind
to let you know,
I was becoming
a tool that grown men
masturbate to.
I used to sit in closets to contain
my insecurities.
Closets helped me suppress
those imageries and memories
of people who touched me
while claiming they would
protect me.
They spoke of love
I believed it to be fickle
Still I got ready to smile
the camera captured on two
Right after that yellow light flashes…
I turned back to black to blue.
After all the flashes, my light burnt out.
I walked in darkness.
When the shadows caught up with me,
I had learned that most people
believe what they were told to believe.
Manipulation was key.
I told them to believe the smile
That I had been taught to believe from a lot
of good liars: mostly me
But I took an eraser
to that smile
and ripped the ban-aid
off my heart.
I am prepared for surgery.
Ready for God to repair me
and whisper softly
to that little girl inside of me
something comforting
so that she may sleep and
no longer worry about the
monsters on her bed
nor the shadows in her head
They who have died,
Shall remain dead.
But I can no longer play dead
in a world I was born to live in
no longer can I survive off the
emptiness that filled me.
So I will re-open all
those self-healed wounds and allow
for true healing
When I gain the strength
to get up and walk out of the
I will claim his light
No longer will I look at
the distorted shadows of lust
I shall see the beauty of trust,
the beauty of life that the light brings
Finally I will be called by name: Beloved.
I will stretch out my hands.
No longer will I bleed.
I will stretch out my hands
and He will grab hold of me.

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