There are community heroes who we forget to honor, inexplicably strong women who survive heinous crimes against their bodies and spirits. Louise Frazier is in their company.
Frazier’s story is ghastly similar to a chapter in the lives of too many little girls. She was molested by a family member at the age of 7. In her silence, resentment grew for those around her. “I blamed my mom for being sexually molested.” This was the beginning of a downward spiral that led to her being kicked out of her mother’s home. When she finally returned home – still a teenager - she was pregnant. However, moving back into her mother’s home did not quiet the anger, hurt and resentment between them. She soon found herself on the streets again this time with drugs as her solace.
“I lost everything. My son – when he was little - was with me at the time. He didn’t care what I was doing or where I was going, he just wanted to be with his mother. I knew I couldn’t carry him to some of the places I went. I couldn’t expose him to some of the things I was doing. It was in that moment that I knew I had to change. I had to change not just for him but for me.”
It was a long road to recovery but she credits her son and her new found faith in God as the motivating factors to lead her out of addiction and into youth ministry. “I wanted to help the youth because I understood where they were coming from.” “A lady at my church who was also in the Youth ministry, told me she was interested in becoming a foster parent. I became interested too. I began to look into different places and found the Foundling.”
In January 2011, Louise became one of the first of the program’s foster parents. It is a program run by the NYC Foundling. The New York Foundling is an organization which provides life changing assistance to underserved children, families and adults with developmental disabilities. Founded in 1869 by the Sisters of Charity, they are being proactive about changing disheartening statistics that have followed displaced youth and the economically disadvantaged. They equip young people with the skills necessary to succeed in the world and offer a wide array of services. The site’s quote from a young man in the foster program solidifies its mission: “Just because we don’t have the same beginning as others, we’re still equal and we can still succeed.” Louise and other community soldiers committing to the Foundling’s programs are what make the organization so successful to date. They speak to the youth from experience and remind that it’s not where one starts in their journey to success but how they finish.
The process to becoming a foster parent required intense screening and training to make sure those candidates would express empathy for children with challenging behaviors and complex expressions of emotions. According to the Foundling, at any given time 1,000 displaced youth can be serviced there.
Louise has fostered 5 children to date for six to nine months at a time before they have been reunited with their families. In that time, she tries to instill the wisdom she has learned through her own tragedy to triumph testimony. Despite the challenges thrown in her direction, Louise has not only survived the pain of her youth but uses it encourage the reflection of herself that she sees in the children she fosters. Reminding them with scripture that lifted her spirits, “We are more than conquerors…and can do all things through Christ which strengthens us.”