Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Kaci's Story

Here's a final story to wrap up National Foster Care Month! Thanks so much to the families who shared  some of their reflections and experiences with us!

At the heart of National Foster Care Month is this truth—every child deserves a permanent connection to a caring adult. Kids in foster care need to know they have someone who cares about them and will stick with them through one of the toughest times in their life, no matter what. Kaci's words shine when she writes "I would never ever ever change being your foster parent."

Kaci's Story

Why I foster:
I believe.
I believe in you.
I believe healing can happen in your heart.
I believe a story is being written in your life and you should never be ashamed of that story.   
You, my Mr. Man, captured my heart the first time I met you.  Your absolutely caring heart.  Your desire to be a gentleman.  Your love for learning.
You, my Miss Magoo, captured my heart the first time I met you. Your silly personality.  Your always laughing spirit.  Your sweet cuddles while you listen to stories read. 
There are hard times. 
Times when your sad looks mad. 
Times when your scared looks crazy. 
Times of tears. 
Times of heartache. 
But the times of hope outshine these.  The times when glimpses of healing bring tears of joy.    
I would never ever ever change being your foster parent.  Never.
I believe in you.

I believe.

- Kaci

Monday, June 3, 2013

Gwen's Story

Did you know you can be single and be a foster or adoptive parent? 

Here's a very powerful reflection from Gwen on how her desire to give back led her on an unexpected and special journey!

Gwen's Story

As an adopted child myself, my parents were the prime example of loving a non-biological child unconditionally.  They also were the loving foster parents to my sister who came to live with us as a teenager and who remains part of our family to this day.

I knew at an early age that I wanted to show this same kind of love to a child.  As a single woman, each time I was around my friends and their children, I felt a loneliness that was indescribable.  This went on in my 20’s and then throughout my 30’s and I told myself that if I hadn’t found the right man to marry and hadn’t become a mom by the time I was 40, I would take matters in my own hands.

And, that is the route that God directed me in.  Initially, I knew the foster parenting would simply give me a chance to be a mom temporarily to children in my care and assist some of the parents possibly in their parenting skills.  I could share all of the Midwest values I’d learned and share my good heart with the children.  My ultimate hope was that if a child needed a full-time, permanent home, I would become the mother I always wanted to be.

Now, several years later, I’m happy to report that my dream of being a mother came true.  Two very special boys have entered my life and have given me a fulfillment I can’t describe.  Do I have horror stories to tell during my experiences?  Yes!  Did I cry every time a foster child left my home?  Yes!  Has it been some hard work?  Yes!  Has everything been sunshine and lollipops?  No!  Did I obviously survive it all?  Yes!

Parenting, if you do it right, isn’t always rosy, is a lot of hard work, and is a lot of trial and error.  But, I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world because I know in my heart I’ve provided the love, nurturing, and support that the children in my home (whether temporary or permanent) have needed.  

We all need to make sure we give more than we receive and this is my way of giving to my community, taught by the best trainers in the world—my parents, Paul and Donna!!!

- Gwen