Hi and welcome to my first blog! I’m really excited! Can’t you tell? So what makes me no ORDINARY Liz so to speak?
Well I was born in Spain in 1980, came to the states when I was 5 with my brother and sister by a man whom I thought was my father and lived with a women who I thought was my grandmother until I was 13 years old. At that time, I was introduced into the foster care system. While I was in the “system”, I experienced the normal trend I see today, moving from placement to placement, one day you’re in this school in this county, and then the next day, it’s a different county with new students and teachers that you have to meet and so on. I had to do this quiet a bit from the time I was 13 to 18 totaling 10 or so placements. Oh and did I mention that somewhere in there, I was separated from my siblings with no to little contact?
When I turned 18, I graduated high school and moved into my very first apartment. Yep, having to face reality at 18 was a hard thing to swallow, but someone had to do it. Sure, I didn’t know how to balance a checkbook or know what to do when it came to normal household items, but I soon utilized my neighbors for that…LOL. I was also finding myself with more than one job as well. There were times I had 4 to 5 jobs going at once and going to a Community College trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Life definitely wasn’t a piece of cake after you turned 18, that’s for sure. I remember one of the best jobs that I had growing up was working at Wal-Mart. I had made the best of friends not only from the employees, but from the customers too. You know, one of the coolest things about Wally World was I found a piece of “family” in a few of them. For example, there was this little lady in fabrics that I would always visit each day that would pinch my cheeks like a grandmother would do, and this little old man, named George who would always greet you at the door with a smile and a hug and I would always have to stop for a few minutes just so he could tell me one of his stories just like a grandpa would do. Yea, those were the good ole days.
College was the best years of my life! The BEST. I met so many friends, earned 2 degrees and reunited with my sister whom I hadn’t seen in 8 years. It was BIZARRE how we even met! I was selected to go to Washington, DC for an Internship through the Orphan Foundation of America Scholarship. This was the best experience EVER! Not only did I get to work with Siemens Corporation, I got to work with the VP of Homeland Security. Boy, did I feel like a million bucks. It was the coolest thing ever. I am a foster kid doing cool things. As if I could ever top that, I got to tour the White House and feel important for a day! THEN, are you ready for it?… I had the luxury of attending a movie premier of I am David with Angelina Jolie and the cast all evening. Man, did I feel like a star or what? As if that wasn’t cool enough, I have been interviewed by Glamour Magazine and New York Times about my life story. I was approached to be part of a book, which you will find in more detail on my about section.
Life just keeps getting better! I now work for a Big Four Accounting Firm in Tampa, FL and absolutely LOVE IT! I network and get to meet new innovative people everyday. I was selected back in July 2013 to attend Project Belize through PwC, where I got to travel to Belize and teach Financial Literacy to Belizean children. For starters, I had never traveled outside the US, so that was an awesome experience in itself, but secondly, the experience and impact that those children left on me was so incredible. It was definitely life changing and a once in a lifetime experience.
I recently became a certified Guardian at Litem (GAL) to 3 siblings. I can now say that I have come full cycle in the foster care system. It is really a humbling experience to be able to mentor and stand up for these kids. It’s kinda ironic as well. Life sure is funny sometimes on where she wants you to be:)
So I leave you with this my friends…as you can see, I have lived a no ORDINARY life. I have overcome so much adversity and had to adjust to life at full speed. I have many tales that are still untold. I may not know who my parents are which is fine. I know who I am. I may have been labeled an orphan, or a foster kid at one point in my life, but don’t forget to add business professional, advocate, author, mentor and now a blogger to the list. I don’t have no regrets and if I had to live life all over again the same way, I would because I’m definitely not your ORDINARY Liz 🙂