The holidays are about making Christmas wishes come true, but when children don’t have a real family of their own, they don’t usually get what they wish for.
For years, Devan Petersen didn’t have a “home” for Christmas.
“If you’re a foster kid and you don’t have it, it hurts. You see Christmas everywhere. It’s in commercials on TV, you see families and as a small kid you want that and you dream of that,” she said.
Petersen’s now 23 years old, but growing up she was placed in 4 different homes and 2 different facilities. Her holidays weren’t exactly festive.
“Christmas was fighting. I didn’t get the Christmas experience for many years.”
In time, Devan was finally placed in a foster home with foster parents who helped show her how to make her holidays bright.
“They kept me for four years after I aged out. They loved me and I felt their love. The greatest gift I could get was love. I did have a conflict though, I had to realize I was worthy of being loved. Every foster child has to recognize they are worthy of being loved,” Petersen said.
Now she feels the holiday in her heart and she’s taking it all in.
“I love being here in Fulton Alley with all their Christmas decorations. It’s so gorgeous. This is what I’d dream Christmas to be. It’s very magical. My Christmas wish is for everyone to feel love and for every kid who doesn’t have a casa to get a casa,” she said.
Devan’s wish is for every foster child to have a home. CASA stands for “Court-Appointed Special Advocate” and those are volunteers who help guide foster kids through the legal system and help them find loving homes.
Petersen’s a volunteer for CASA Jefferson.
For more information on how you can help and get involved: casajefferson.com