a series of watercolor paintings on aquabord (clay board) dedicate to children in the Foster Care System.
Do you remember the last time you stayed in someone’s house as a guest? Every interaction in a new home feels like an intrusion. Now, imagine that you stayed there after losing your entire family, all of your friends, and everyone else you know. Imagine coming as a guest in someone’s home that you have never seen before. Imagine as a child, waking up one day in a new home with a new family in a new neighborhood and being sent to a new school where you know no one and no one knows you. You have no one to talk to. You don’t have any of your things — alone.
These children are Foster Children and they are grieving everything. Many of them spend their entire young lives moving from home to home, living with strangers and many times carrying their belongings inside a garbage bag. No matter how hard foster families can work to make foster children feel loved and accepted, adjustments and learning to trust takes time.
I have been in the process of adoption in the US since April 2015 and all those heartbreakingly, sad stories I have been receiving from social workers around the country within the past year has inspired me to paint this series. My intention is not to criticize the system or judge the parents, but to open people’s eyes for these children, who have experienced abuse or neglect, are hurt and traumatized and in need of help.
Thousands of amazing children need a safe and loving home. These children have talents, dreams and incredible potential. They need someone to encourage their dreams and prepare them for life’s successes. Not everyone can be a foster parent or adopt, but everyone can help and make a difference to a child in foster care.
My aim for this series is to enlighten the public and create awareness through my watercolors, hoping they not only offer a sense of the struggle of these children but also their potential for success and happiness, with a little help from us.
Upside down Symbolism
For kids out there without parents or a safe, stable place to call home, their world is The meaning of the word “upside down” is that something is in complete disorder and disarray. One's entire circumstance, lifestyle (and consequently outlook) are often negatively impacted by these drastic and life changing absolutely upside down. In some paintings, the background is upside down to signify the emotional turmoil felt when trying to live in an environment without stability and security.
Butterflies are a deep and powerful representation of life. Many cultures associate the butterfly with our souls. Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, hope, beauty and life.
Through heartfelt stories, we can understand that butterflies are an appropriate symbol that conveys life’s struggles and the challenges people have endured and survived to emerge as a stronger, more empathic person.
Trash Bag Suitcase symbolism
The word “home” is probably elusive and confusing for the children in the foster care system as they go from house to house, family to family, unsure exactly where they will permanently land. It’s hard to imagine what emotions and thoughts go through a foster child’s mind as he or she starts packing up his or her stuff, grabbing what few precious possessions they have, getting ready to move to a different “home.”
What many people may not realize is that many of these kids put their belongings in a trash bag.
What type of feeling can this give to a child?