Written by Yvonne Bay


While being with Nga Rangatahi Toa for my first full year, that was my only happy place. Only place I’d feel absolutely comfortable! There was only one thing that didn’t feel right with me and that was where I was living. I wasn’t living at home. My mother got re-married and my brother and I both went our separate ways.

For 2 years, I lived with my friends, boyfriends, family, friend’s family and people that accepted boarders into their places. All I wanted was to feel safe, loved and cared for. Whenever a guy came by, I was desperate. Desperate for love and for someone to take my mind of what was going on in my life. But I was always left heartbroken in the end.

Through Manawa Ora, I met my lovely foster parents that I have lived happily with for at least 10 months now (ITS ALMOST A YEAR!) Yes! I am surprised! I never thought anyone would want to keep me for this long. I can never explain or express how grateful and thankful I am to be a part of their lives and for them to be a big part in my life. They have taught me how to be a better person, a better ME! If they didn’t step up and take me into their lives then I would have no idea where I would be. I would probably be drinking every weekend, addicted to cigarettes and drugs. It’s such a blessing and yes, they are responsible parents! It’s a new experience for all us and each day we learn more and more about each other and how to deal with certain situations.

It’s been a tough road and life goes on so I always tried to have positive thoughts to keep me going in life and I’m glad that I did because this is the happiest point I’ve ever been in my life since the passing of my father. I’m glad that I held on strongly and tried not to give up because everything that had happened has happened for a reason and this is the path that I, myself, chose to go through. The Good Pathway. I could have easily chosen to carry on the way that I was but I thought that I wanted a change, a better change and I definitely am slowly getting there.

Always remember that if someones not smiling then give them yours and if you’re not smiling then stop and think about all the many things that you have to be thankful for. Because no matter who you are, it can always be worse.

Yvonne has her very own blog that she keeps up to date around her schooling commitments. You can read more about her journey HERE!