I Can See Clearly Now

These self portraits were created by children in foster care living at a group home in Orlando. After listening to the song "I Can See Clearly Now" the children, like the songwriter, thought about the obstacles in their life, and how they might overcome them to get to their bright sunshining day.

My portrait shows the good and bad parts of my life.The tornado represents how my life was torn apart by the abuse that happened to me. I was hurt by someone who was suppose to love and care for me. My heart was hurt so badly that now it barely feels. I can hardly cry anymore. I keep my heart locked up and protected. Despite all the pain, I still have hope for my future. School and learning give me knowledge and brighten my day. The wings on my forehead show that the real me, deep down inside, is still there. With time I hope to show that person again. I was an innocent angel whose innocence was taken but not destroyed. One day I will rise up again and soar. 

Tearana, age 13

My portrait shows the good and bad that makes up my life. The right side shows the beach because when I am at the beach I feel happy. The sound of the waves helps me to relax and clear my mind. At the beach I can get away from all the noise and confusion that I live with every day and enjoy the peace and quiet. On the left side of my portrait the lightening bolt is right by my ear because I hear so many negative things about my life and future. The moon in the top corner shows that even in dark stormy times I still have hope. The brick pattern on my neck and chest shows my strength and determination to succeed in spite of everything that has happened to me. The heart with the black ribbon and arrow shows that I have been hurt by those who love me. Even though I have been hurt I still have love in my heart. 

Austin, age 16

Being in foster care is very hard. All I think about everyday is going home. I imagine myself at home and can't stop thinking about how much I want to be with my family. I worry about them constantly. I worry something bad is happening to them. 

Being in foster care is very hard.I have no power over my case or the decisions being made about my life. There are so many rules. I want to be happy and free. I feel locked up. I can't do hardly anything because everyone is so afraid of what might happen to me. 

Being in foster care is very hard. I feel torn apart. I am worried about the future. I don't know how I will be able to choose between my parents. I want to choose what will be best for my life and future, but how will I know? I have so many questions. I wish my parents could be together and we could be a happy family, but that isn't going to happen. I wish I could go back to the past when I was little and didn't have to worry. I want to be happy again. I have so much weighing on me. I am a teenager now and I am afraid that life will only get harder as I get older.

Being in foster care is very hard. In my portrait the sun is setting. Last year when I came into foster care I was full of hope. I thought I had finally been rescued and that my life would be better. Now I feel like the bright sunny future I was hoping for is fading away. I still have a little hope left. The sun at the bottom of my portrait shows this. I hold onto hope that I can get through these difficult times and have a successful happy life. 

Eleanor, age 12