— Read message from artist & former foster youth & adoptee Annika Marek-Barta below—
Glass ornament. Hammered texture. Includes hanging ribbon. Comes in gray gift box. Size: 3"
DESIGN BY ARTIST ANNIKA MAREK-BARTA
"We need each other.
These four words sum up what my experience as a former foster youth has led me to: the need for others. If it weren't for my teacher who reported suspicion of abuse, I wouldn't be here. If it weren't for my church community who walked with me in the darkness, I wouldn't have hope. If it weren't for my worship pastors who adopted me after I aged out of the system, I wouldn't be a daughter. If it weren't for my foster alumni friends who create a safe space to share our lived experiences, I wouldn't have others who truly get it.
I have a great need for others, and though this is something I saw as a weakness before, I now see it as a gift. We were made to do life together. Let us not forget that we are that person that someone else is needing.
When all of us former foster youth, foster parents, adoptive families, caseworkers, judges, legislators, healthcare workers, pastors, counselors, mandatory reporters, and so many others come together to make a difference to reform a system, our impact is greater because of all of us, collectively. When we come together to stand alongside one another to make a difference, our impact is that much greater. I am hopeful that the spotlight we shine on the foster care crisis will become one others can't look away from – that the day is coming in my lifetime when everyone will do the "something" they can to make a difference for vulnerable children and families.
As someone who lived the system and sees change being made because of all of you, let me say this: we need you."
Annika Marek-Barta is a freelance graphic designer and photographer who is also a former foster youth and adult adoptee. Her heart is to advocate for the foster care and adoption realms and to see seats added to tables as the lonely are invited into belonging.
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Your G&B purchase brings some better to a child entering foster care through our partnership with Foster the Family. Choose your impact by selecting what you’d like us to pass on.
COMFORT blankie, teddy bear, or plush throw
CLOTHING outfit & pajamas & socks & underwear
LUGGAGE backpack or duffle bag
SUPPORT education, support groups, & special events
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every purchase benefits a child entering foster care
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