Brandi Moore shares her moving story at the Kidsave 2016 Fall Benefit Brunch
My name is Brandi Moore and I grew up in the Foster Care System in Los Angeles. I was taken away from my mother at the age of 9 due to an unstable home filled with emotional and physical abuse.
I remember the day I was taken away from my mother like it was yesterday. The cops were banging on the door. They told my mom they heard a child screaming and crying. My mother told me to get out of the bed because someone wanted to speak to me…it was the cops. When they pulled me aside, they asked what had happened to me. My mother had warned me never to talk to strangers, especially if they were asking about my bruises. So at first, I told them nothing. At the police station I had to be nude while the cops took pictures of my bruised body. I vaguely remember one of the cops saying “who did this to her?”
In my very first foster home, I experienced abuse again. By the time I was 18 I had lived in over 30 foster homes and temporary group homes.
After years of instability, I was introduced to Kidsave in 2009 and the Weekend Miracles program. I can clearly remember the first event I attended on a coast guard ship. I absolutely loved it and I instantly made a connection with an adult. She became my first host. She gave me great advice and I learned so much about myself from that relationship.
Five years ago, I met Tracie Shepard. I love to tell the story about how we met. It was at a Kidsave event and I was feeling very short around the crowd of people. I am not even 5 feet tall. Tracie could tell that I was upset, and she took off her wedges and let me wear them. Although it was something so small, it made me feel so special. I am not legally adopted by Tracie and her family but I am a part of her family. They have always been there for me. Tracie makes me a Christmas stocking every year and invites me to Thankgiving dinner. She has even made my birthdays so memorable and special. I have never felt so loved and a part of a family so functional, lovable, and so happy. My life has changed for the better because of them.
A child does not always need to be adopted in my opinion. Every situation is different. I believe that it is the connection that matters; a stable, healthy, and loving permanent connection and that is what Kidsave gave me.
Today I am a fulltime student at West Los Angeles College. I am studying computer science and information tech. My goal is to obtain my certificate as an IT by August, 2017. I am actively pursuing internships at companies like Disney and Warner Brothers.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Kidsave, the Weekend Miracles program, and the love and support I have received over the years. I now have permanent connections to caring adults, and my life has changed for the better.
I am blessed.
November is National Adoption Month! Please visit our Weekend Miracles gallery and get involved to help U.S. foster care youth find permanent families and lasting connections.