We are bio parents, step parents, grandparents, foster parents & soon to be adoptive parents. Between the 2 of us we have 5 bio children ages 27, 18, 12, 8 & 4. We're grandparents to a 6 & a 5 year old, foster parents to 6 children (1 aged out of the Child Welfare System, 3 reunified with bio parents, 2 in process of adopting).
Why do we do foster? Why do we volunteer to be a “safe house” in our community? Why have these children in our home for a short period of time & have to let them go? Because we know there is SUCH A NEED for foster parents. There are children in our own communities that are lacking permanency & positive guidance. We believe that this is our small way of trying to make a difference in our own community by opening up our home to foster.
We decided to become foster parents with the intent to do a kinship placement for a family member. This was resolved in a different matter. A short time later HHS contacted us with the possibility of placing a sibling group in our home. This is what started off the whirl wind of our fostering experiences. We are in the process of adopting them now to give them an opportunity to be part of our family. We are blessed to have them added to our family.
Now we are passionate about fostering & adopting to personally make a difference in the lives of drug endangered, neglected & the abused children in our communities. Even with our Child Welfare System being in such a trying time right now we all have to remember that there are still children out there in need of a safe, loving & supporting home while the powers to be try to make a better system for these children.
When we bring these children into our home, we have to be understanding of how profound the sense of separation can be. We smother them with love while they are with us. Pray for them while they are with us and long after they are gone. Give them reassurance that they are loved & valued & safe. It may be as simple as tucking them into a warm bed at night or holding them while they cry with overwhelming emotions. We have to be patient when helping them incorporate into our family. It may take a lot of time, creativity & patience for a child to feel safe enough to trust another. The smallest amount of neglect &/or abuse can have a long & lasting impression on a child’s ability to trust & bond with others.
By keeping hope alive, maintaining a respectable atmosphere, offering choices & positive compromises, building trust & the power of prayer will give these children the opportunity to break the evil cycle of drugs, neglect & abuse while working along the side of HHS for reunification with bio parents to correct & reconnect with their children.
Being foster parents is very time consuming & many times it’s a juggling act with our own daily schedule as we help transport to & from medical & counseling appointments & visitation with bio parents. Our life may be chaotic & crazy-busy – our house is always loud, dishes need done, laundry is never ending – but we would not change a thing. We believe we are making a difference in their lives and they have had a huge impact on our family also. They have taught us to be less self-centered, more humble, less judgmental, more grateful & most of all more loving!!
Make a difference - right where you are & become a Foster Parent!!