After years of emotional and physical abuse by my adoptive family, I came to St. John’s Home in 1988. Instead of my parents taking responsibility for what they had done, they blamed me. Somehow, I was the problem in the family, not them. After hearing this all my life, I came to believe this as well. I was sure that I was going nowhere with my life. So I behaved accordingly. My parents told the folks at St. John’s Home to prepare me to live in a group home for the rest of my life.
Thank God that the people at St. John’s Home didn’t believe it! I remember acting up and having long discussions with Jackie, Jim and Meg (three of my favorite people at the Home) who told me that same thing over and over again: Don’t buy into this lie. You can be whatever you decide to be. It’s your choice.
Boy, did I test that them! I tried desperately to prove them wrong. But they never gave up on me. One day, after being picked up while I was AWOL, the police officer asked me why I wasn’t taking advantage of the help which was offered to me. For some reason, that day I decided to give it a try.
I started to really believe that I could change with the help of my friends at St. John’s Home. They literally became my new parents. I even took them up on the offer to pay for my college education. However, I decided to get a different kind of higher education. I entered the Police Academy.
It was not easy. Half way through my training, I was severely injured and told by my instructors that my career as a police officer was over. I decided they were wrong. I finished my training and I am now a police officer working at Drexel University in Pennsylvania. Part of my job at Drexel is teaching young women how to stand up for themselves. I also work as an Emergency Medical Technician and have saved a number of lives.