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Foster care speaker Derek Clark

Foster Care and an Angry Foster Youth – A Bad Mix! Find Out How My Music Became My Therapy

As a Child in Foster Care and an Even More Angry Foster Youth, My Music Was My Therapy and Helped Me to Transform and Find My Greatness.

Derek Clark is an inspiring motivational speaker, music producer, inspirational author, singer/songwriter with over 125 tracks on iTunes and a Former Foster Child For 13 Years. The story of Derek Clark’s life is truly amazing. Abandoned early in his childhood and plunged in the harsh and uncertain depths of the foster care system for 13 years, he spent his early life coping with hardship and overcoming adversity. Even against seemingly unbelievable odds, Derek never gave up. His music gave him the strength to overcome, prevail and help heal his soul.

Derek states: “As a youth in foster care, music was my therapy. Music has dramatically changed my life. It has given me the ability to express feelings which otherwise would have remained locked in my soul. Music was the key to the cell that I was trapped in. Music is literally like another language. Playing music is fun, but creating music can change your life. The feeling that overcomes you when you’re inspired to create and let your soul breathe free can leave you stunned. It is true inspiration. When you attain the musical ability that allows you to express your deepest emotions, you can sit with a guitar in your hand and sing about what you are feeling at any given moment. It is beautiful how the words just flow out.

Music is simply amazing. Next to my family, my music is the most important thing in my life. I am not talking about going to concerts or turning on the radio. I mean creating music from the wellspring of the soul. My testimony of life, my faith and my beliefs are expressed through the musical melodies circulating around my soul. My sadness, anger and happiness are turned into a song, where they become almost as precious to me as the children I have created. I can’t tell you which song is my favorite. It’s like telling you which of my kids is my favorite. It is impossible to say, but I can tell you that creation is in tune with the music of your heart. Music can change the mood you’re in from sadness and anger to an energetic happiness. Finding just the right sound can bring tears to your eyes. When composed with passion, music is nothing less than miraculous. It can literally heal the emotionally wounded.

I will always be indebted to my foster parents for passing the miracle of music on to me. I started learning music when I was about eight years old. My foster father played piano and would teach me the basics of music theory and accompany me on duets. He also laid the foundation for me never giving up. He never let me quit when it became hard to learn. Sometimes I couldn’t stand playing the clarinet but it helped me blossom into a competent musician, giving me confidence and greatly increasing my self-esteem.

When I was eight years foster kid, I decided right then and there that someday I was going to be a rock star, and everyone would love me. Well, I never became a rock star in the world’s eyes, but I am a rock star to my own children. They absolutely love that I play music to them. I also learned that not everyone is going to like my music and that you can’t go through life always looking for other people’s approval and acceptance. I admit that’s a tough thing to accept sometimes, because everyone wants to be liked and I’m no different in this regard. Being a kid in foster care makes you feel rejected, and you consider yourself unworthy. Music was the vehicle which allowed me to open up and dream. Dreams can give you hope, and hope was the only thing I needed.

Music has taught me appreciation for the little things. My music gives form to the feelings I have inside. When I am inspired to write, it comes from some deep place in the heart. I have had many opportunities to sing my songs in public performances and see how the music effects others. It is humbling to know that one of my songs can comfort another person, and give them strength to endure a hard time.

Music has helped me to get in tune with other people and come to know their spirits, needs and intentions. It has helped me stay grounded and real. It has allowed me to maintain a connection with my soul and spirit, instead of shunning or hating myself. I like myself and love myself, not in some self-absorbed manner that makes me egotistical or narcissistic, but in a way that allows me to be proud of how far I have come. I like that for most of my life I have gone forwards instead of backwards, and that I try everyday to improve myself in some way.

I have written personally revealing songs since I was seventeen years old. The following song lyrics have been put to music and professionally recorded. I have decided to share them with you so that you may see how I expressed myself during some difficult times.

I wrote “I Wanna Be A Kid” when I was thirty years old about my time in foster care and biological mom. My wife and I had been married for seven years at that point, and decided we wanted to have a child. This was a huge deal and a big step for me. Before we were married we discussed the possibility of not having children.

I was a product of a messed up relationship and therefore had a messed up childhood. I was reluctant to bring any more children into this evil and cruel world. When we decided to have a child, she was pregnant within a month. “Holy cow, that was very quick,” I said. I was shocked and grew very scared wondering what kind of father I was going to be. I felt unworthy to take care of a baby angel. I was facing a flood of emotions and bad memories. I could feel the little foster kid inside me beginning to cry. I felt vulnerable. I decided to write a song to my mom, to show her that I can be a winner, and that nobody was going to stop me from soaring in my life. This song has been an inspiration to many. This is my anthem. Its message is that if I can make it in life, then anybody can make it. I have been questioned about the meaning of the chorus, which says “Bunk to Bombay.” It means a bunk bed to somewhere far away. I was tired of bunk beds at the foster homes. I just wanted to escape. I invite you to visit my websites and to hear this song and more. I love using music in my presentations around the world and connecting to the heart and spirit of the audience.”



You want to see me cry, you want to see me die,
You want to look into my eyes
And see the devil’s eyes,
You want to see me smile with my battle scars
But if you look into my eyes,
You’ll see an Angel’s heart,
It was 1975, I was 5,
Momma I was looking at you all surprised
But you were looking at me with fear,
And all along Momma, you didn’t want me here.

I wanna fly, bunk to Bombay,
Here I am in this world today,
I wanna fly, bunk to Bombay
Here I am, I need a home today.
No more Foster Homes and no more Orphanage,
I just wanna be a kid.

So here I am in the struggle of the human race,
But no one wants me, my face, I feel so disgraced,
I’m just an orphan in line, like a lamb to a slaughter,
I could be a good son, but no one bothers,
Well the good Lord works in mysterious ways,
He opened Heavens gates for only one day,
And the Angels of courage and Love were sent,
There was this one loving Family, that took me in.

I wanna fly, bunk to Bombay,
Here I am in this world today,
I wanna fly, bunk to Bombay
Here I am, I need a home today.
No more Foster Homes and no more Orphanage,
I just wanna be a kid.

I’ve got a sad past, everyday a ghost haunts me,
They can’t harm me, I’ve got a family,
I’ve got a son, a wife, I’ve got a true life,
It’s been given back to me, I’ll do it right,
They’ll never live the Hell that I have been through,
I can guarantee that, I swear to you,
This is real, this is my life,
If I can fly, you can fly.

I wanna fly, bunk to Bombay,
Here I am in this world today,
I wanna fly, bunk to Bombay
Here I am, I need a home today.
No more Foster Homes and no more Orphanage,
I just wanna be a kid.
Don’t leave me alone Mom.
I just wanna be a kid.
Don’t leave me alone Mom

Derek Clark knows first hand on coping with adversity and overcoming hardship. His 13 years in the San Francisco bay area foster care system reflected a life of humiliation, aggression, emotional distress and overwhelming anxiety. Having suffered unthinkable child abuse, abandonment, emotional distress and being wrongfully labeled, this has never held Derek back from accomplishing what he set his heart and mind to.

Derek is an inspiring motivational speaker, the Ambassador for the Foster Care Alumni of America and an expert on CNN Headline News and The Ricki Lake Show. He recently delivered powerful keynotes at the World Foster Care Conference (where 30 countries were represented), State Circuit Court Conferences, National Federal Bureau of Prisons Conference and the National Foster Parent Association Conference. He is the author of “Never Limit Your Life” and the “I Will Never Give Up” book series

As a speaker, author and singer/songwriter, Derek has spoken and performed his music for tens of thousands of people including a former President of the United States. His maxim is to make no excuses. He has turned his situation from a victim to a victor, equipping him with the Wisdom and the Will to never give up.

Reserve Derek Clark for your next foster care, adoption or child welfare conference. It will be inspiring and informative.

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