“My whole life I wanted to be normal. Everybody knows there’s no such thing as normal. There is no black-and-white definition of normal. Normal is subjective… It’s family and love and safety. It’s bravery and hope. It’s work and laughter and imperfection. It’s my normal.” ~ Tori Spelling
So there is this new word that I’ve recently learned called “Normalcy”. It’s probably the first time in my life that I’ve known what a word meant before I knew it existed. The noun normalcy meaning ‘the condition of being normal; the state of being usual, typical, or expected’. There are programs being developed and legislation being passed to provide foster and adopted children with the gift of normalcy. I think of it somewhat similar to the blessing of oxygen tanks to people that struggle to breathe. Air is a natural thing to everyone, but there are those that need that special gift of oxygen with their health requires it just to survive.
I now pride myself on stark individuality. But in my life for many years past I wanted, desired, and strived for NORMAL. Just some relatable sense of self-definition that would help me understand me, based on the lives, actions, and mindsets of others around me.
I didn’t talk like everyone else in my home, so for me I wasn’t normal. We had to ask permission for me to go on vacations with my foster family, and I know that wasn’t normal. My hair, nose, face, and physical abilities was not like everyone else…again reminding me that I wasn’t normal. So I grew to have a bit of a complex about my abnormalities. I was blessed to be able to just accept it. I loved reading and math too much to stop because no one else could get why I’d spend summer days reading on the porch or making long division problems in the air while lying in the grass. That made me a ‘nerd’ and it wasn’t normal to be okay being a nerd. So, I skipped that opportunity to be normal. Normal for me would have continued music lessons, enrolled me in dance, or signed me up for a art class. Normal for me would have known that my eyes looked just like moms or my mouth was just like dads. Even the small dose of normal, the Catholic bible left for me by my paternal great-grandmother to leave me with a sense of connections was taken away by life. So we have a case for being NORMAL. We must fight for it so that all children have that human place to belong – the city of Normal.
But not to be outdone, the case for “Not Being Normal” can be well founded and strong. You find the best of yourself in your ability to be unique – absolutely NOT NORMAL. The balance is to eliminate the negativity of nature of the Systems to effectively support those that need it without the feeling of being ‘different’ in a bad way. In the process, we have to help them embrace the differences that make them special. These are the gifts that will help them find success. Once shattered, Dreams – like Crystal – cannot be properly mended.
I found this article today that was good for me. Mostly because it was another of those moments that helped me to see that I’m not unique in this thought. As we support the HEART of the movement towards normalcy for Foster Children, I pray that we are careful not to turn it into another initiative that makes the intended beneficiary feel like an island. The road to normalcy cannot run parallel to the path called “Cases”. No child wants to feel like part of a caseload, they just want a normal life. #PositiveFACE
Among Foster Youth, A Need for Normalcy – https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/opinion/among-foster-youth-a-need-for-normalcy/7374