Trigger warning. Almost 400,000 children are in foster care, and kids who find themselves in the system come from difficult backgrounds. This film was made to bring awareness to what some kids experience and to help adults understand life through the children's eyes. At the end, she says it all: "I am lovable. I am worthy of care."
To learn more about foster care, visit AdoptUSKids. You can share this by hitting the Facebook and Twitter buttons below.
Zoe Locke: Sometimes someone hurts you so bad it stops hurting at all until something makes you feel again and then it all comes back; every word, every hurt, every moment.
How could you ever understand where I come from? Even if you ask, even if you listen, you do not really hear or see or feel. You don’t remember my story. You haven’t walked my path. You haven’t seen what I've seen.
My past defines me. This is who I am. I am unseen, unheard, unwanted. That is what I am, If even I am anything.
It seems like the same thing that held me up forced me down. The world turned upside down and order disappeared. Nothing was how it was supposed to be. A heavy sadness filled my soul.
Deeper and deeper I fell within myself and nothing could draw me out.
Trapped in the misery of my life. Lost in the sorrow of my soul. Unable to see the light. Unable to see the dawn. To feel, to hope, to dream.
And I found the darkest days of my life kept coming and blackest nights from my soul never stopped. It seemed like it was always nighttime and nightmares and never morning.
And maybe you wonder why, but mostly you try not to think about it and try to get by and you try to survive.
And all the other stuff seems so much like nothing compared to just wanting the most important things back again. Like wishing you could see your momma's smile again and hear her sing that one favorite song that always calms you down when things are all messed up.
If you couldn’t travel back, at least get to take care of your baby brother because you know he needs you and he's going to be so scared all alone. Who's going to hold his hands and whisper it'll be alright to him. Who will whisper it to me?
I know I'm helpless, dependent, desperate, but what happens when those you need the most threaten your very existence? I've heard plenty of promises and they all sound the same. If I push hard enough and sooner or later they all prove to be empty.
The sun comes up every morning, but do you know where? Each place it's somewhere different. It's hard to find east when you keep moving around, but at least it comes. It always comes. I've come to depend on that.
And slowly, slowly seasons changed around me and it seemed this time that maybe the world would not be pulled out from under me again.
Feet safe, roots starting to grow, little buds of hope forming, and slowly attempting to trust this new life.
I wish someone would tell me it's going to be OK.
That one day, maybe I'll feel normal, that I won't always be the one. that I'll have a mommy who'll hug me and be strong for me because maybe I can't do it all by myself.
This, my past, my history, my story, is not my fault. It's not because of me and doesn’t have to be what defines my future.
I am lovable, I am worthy of care, and that glimmer of light, it makes all the difference. The glimmers of light give me hope that someday my summer will come.