“Standing there in my warm house, staring at the frigid conditions outside, I felt the cold reality slap across my face. I haven’t kept my promise.”
No child should have to watch his mother leave him to choose to go with a boyfriend. Jimmy did, though. His mother was bipolar and made decisions that put herself first and not her two children. His sister was married at 14 with his mother’s permission and then his mother gave him up to foster care. While a few children have wonderful experiences with foster care, unfortunately, many children have experiences that set them up for future failure. Jimmy had several bad experiences that led to him being homeless as a teenager until he listened to a voice in his head telling him to ask an older couple for a job. They ended up taking him in and giving him the support he needed to find success in life.
This book was chosen by my book club group to read in October. It wasn’t the easiest book to read due to all the situations that Jimmy had to deal with growing up. It’s hard to believe children can be treated in such a bad way.
Jimmy Wayne is now a country singer and songwriter, with songs that were hits on the charts. He enjoyed his success until one day it hit him that he should be doing more to help foster kids. He had done a few things to help raise money, but he wanted to raise awareness and inspire changes to take place. He decided to walk halfway across the country and live like homeless teenagers do. His actions help inspire several states to change the age-out of foster care to 21 instead of 18, giving kids more of a chance to get a good start on adult life. Without that support, many end up on the streets, hooked on drugs or caught up in the sex trade.
This is a good book for any adult to read to become more aware of what happens in the foster care system in America. Jimmy’s story is the story of so many kids who don’t find the person who helps them find success in life. I highly recommend this book.