Shoes Full of Dreams | Jared Monroe

The day was May 13th, 2002. It appeared to be a normal day. I was sitting in Mrs. Ewing’s 1st grade class. That day, my life changed forever. That day was the day I was officially adopted, in the eyes of the law. I was picked up from class and taken to the court room. A paper was signed, it didn’t mean much to me, but I would come to understand that paper was the official “receipt” of my future.

My experiences are what make me want to work in child welfare. I am a product of the foster care system, and I am adopted myself. Some may see this as a hindrance, I view it as empowering. Being adopted growing up is hard. I had a birth mother that was a drug addict, and has been in and out of jail three times. She lost each one of her kids due to her addiction to drugs. While breaking, an addiction is difficult, it is by no means impossible. Addiction is no excuse to be an unfit parent. That is exactly what she was, an unfit parent. I also do not know who my birth father is. This was difficult for me growing up because I never had a sense of who exactly I wanted to be. I was all over the place. I didn’t know what my interests were, or what my interest in life were. I do now.

I want to be a child services social worker, because it is what I am meant to become. I am a sophomore at ASU, have a loving and caring family, have a rewarding job at Starbucks, and have been blessed with amazing friends. I would not be where I am today if I was never adopted, and I don’t care what anyone says, that is a fact. I am lucky enough to live such an astounding life. My adoption is the exact reason I want to help other children live amazing lives. If I never was adopted, I may not have the opportunity to apply for the Child Welfare Education Program. If I wasn’t adopted, I would not have the friends, who stick with me through everything. Most importantly, if I was never taken into my parent’s home, at the age of two, and officially adopted, at the age of five, I would not have a supportive family.

My mother is the sister of my birthmother. The difference is key. A mother is someone who loves you unconditionally and cares for you like no other. A mother is someone who through thick and thin stands by your side when your back is against the wall. Most importantly, a proper mother is always there for you, even when times are tough.

A birthmother is simply that, the woman that gives birth to you. I have regret for not wanting to meet my birthmother, which I have had ample opportunity to do. The reason being is, she has lost not one, not two, but three children due to her mistakes in life. I am a firm believer in second chances, that should not be mistaken. At times, life may get the best of us. Life may throw curve balls our way that we may not know how to handle. What I do not understand is the continuous decision to be an unfit parent. The decision to deem someone an unfit parent is difficult. Feelings cannot cloud our judgement, even when this may become difficult. As social workers, it is our duty to make the decisions that other people can’t. It is our duty to understand what is right or wrong. Drug addiction is something that should be handled properly, and with care. Drug addiction that effects the life of a child, that is point-blank unacceptable.  The reason that a drug addict did not affect my life, is because of my persevering mother.

My mom is my hero. If I need anything, my mother will be there for me. She worked as a child services social worker, for the county of Los Angeles, for nine years. The difficult task of being a mother to four children required her to quit her job. My mother understood the difficult choice of putting a child’s life, over the sanctity of her family relationship. She took a crying child out of her sister’s arms, so that child could grow up in a stable home. My mom understood what it meant to be a parent. She is the reason I am writing this essay. She sacrificed her life, and her relationship with her sister, because she wanted to give me my dream. My dream is to be a child services social worker; a DCS specialist.

A DCS specialist must be strong. A DCS specialist must also balance the difficult task of being strong willed, having a good heart, and having a strong sense of what right and wrong truly is. People make mistakes, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. Being an unfit parent is no mistake, it is a choice. If you feel that you are going to be an unfit parent, give your kid up for adoption. If you feel there is hope for being a good parent, but aren’t ready to be at the time, it is always okay to ask for help. Asking for help does not make you weak, it makes you stronger.

In tough situations, I struggle with asking for help. Whether this comes from my childhood, being told I am not good enough by my fellow peers, whatever the case may be, I do not know when to give up and ask for help. This can be a problem, and I fight every day to work on it. This can also be the very reason that my drive and dedication to my work is so high. Whether that work be keeping my job, doing well in school, making sure my friends feel comfortable and respected always. My drive and dedication to be a good person is the reason that I will be the best DCS specialist that I can be.

I am confident in that I will be a child services social worker, whether I get into the Child Welfare Education Program or not, it will not stop me from pursuing my dream. My dream is to be a child services social worker. That is another thing that makes me so strong. I understand my feelings, and I am very honest about them. I understand how to react to my feelings, in a positive manner, in a positive light. I will always choose to live in the light. I will be the best social worker I can be, because I wouldn’t let myself be anything less.

In the book, The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho said. “… love never keeps a man from pursuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it is because it wasn’t true love…” I love helping people. I love the person that I am, and I love the person that I will continue to work on being. I am confident that person will help others, and ultimately, save lives.