Takepart: How One Best-Selling Author Is Changing the Holidays for Foster Kids

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When it comes to childhood holiday traditions, people often think of hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree, lighting the menorah, or listening to seasonal tunes. But for some 415,000 kids living in our foster care system, the holidays in group homes aren’t always filled with merriment.

International best-selling author Ashley Rhodes-Courter is all too familiar with the experience, having spent almost a decade of her life bouncing between 14 different foster homes. Though she was adopted at age 12 by a family she says was perfect for her, the author still recalls what the Christmas season felt like before that time.

“The holidays are a struggle because it brings back these bad memories and makes us wonder what our parents and siblings are doing,” Rhodes-Courter told TakePart.

“After I was adopted, I started thinking about how great the holidays were, but then you think about the kids that were in foster care with you and wonder how they’re doing.” The author later discovered that many of her former foster siblings are behind bars, homeless, teen parents, or in abusive situations.

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