Davich: Former foster kid to others: 'It's only temporary'

Arianna Wilson bounced from foster home to foster home as a young girl. She had nothing to call her own except for fear and confusion, she recalled.

When Arianna arrived at the home of Deborah and Howard Wilson in 2008, she clutched onto her only possession — a beat-up green Grinch stuffed animal. It was all she had. She hasn’t forgotten.

“I didn’t have anything to hold on to,” Arianna told me Saturday when I visited her Portage home.

Arianna, 16, has thought of a way to help other young foster children in similar situations. It’s a project called Arianna’s Heart, consisting of colorful canvas duffel bags filled with hand-picked items for foster children who may otherwise have nothing of their own, just as Arianna had as a young girl.

Each gender- and age-specific duffel bag consists of a blanket, a stuffed animal, a journal, a toothbrush, crayons, tissues, select toys and a personal letter from Arianna, which she read out loud for me. (Watch the video at www.post-trib.com/opinion.)

“I was lonely and afraid. But things did get better,” she wrote in her letter. “So promise you will never forget that you are not an accident. You will stay strong and you will not give up. God made you and he believes in you, and you can make it through this. Everything that’s happening to you now will pass. It’s only temporary.”

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