A life in foster care: ‘I’ve been on my own since the day I got out’

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — 8News is taking the lead to help foster children in the Commonwealth. There are hundreds of kids who need good homes, but some never find them.

8News Anchor Christina Feerick recently spoke with one 23-year-old who went through the foster care system but was never adopted.

“Everyday is a battle, You have to be strong.”

A0F17D5C5C8344ECA7655C40846B9209Those are the words of 23-year-old Heather Lynch. She has two adorable children, a full-time job and has made a life for herself and her family. But growing up, family was not a part of her life.

“I speak to my mom, I speak to a couple of my aunts but only a couple times a year,” she said. “It bothers me that my children don’t know their family. My daughter is four and she’s maybe met four people.”

“It bothers me that my children don’t know their family” — Heather Lynch

Lynch was taken from her parents when she was three, and her aunt eventually put her in the foster care system.

“I kind of moved all around,” she recalls. “At age 12 my aunt signed over custody and I never got out. Fifteen different foster homes, seven group homes and two lock facilities.

“Everything but detention or jail.”

Lynch says her aunt chose a man over her.

“I’ve been on my own ever since the day I got out.” — Heather Lynch

“I told her he was trying to have sexual relations with me and she didn’t believe me,” Lynch said.

Instead, Lynch found herself being juggled from one facility to the next, and just before her 18th birthday, she was released from the system.

“I’ve been on my own ever since the day I got out,” she said.

Although she struggles with anger and resentment, Lynch says she is using the experiences to better herself.

02FCDFEEFED84A4F9D38C2E0DC083FF4“You raise yourself in those kinds of situations,” she said. “Not everybody comes out with their head on their shoulders, but it made me stronger.”

When asked where she wants to be in the next few years, and if she was content, Lynch responded, “no. I’d like to go on my path toward nursing or for some sort of therapy for kids in my situation.”

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