Hi, my name is Brooke Beatty-Babcock, I am 30 years old and I became a foster mom after the deaths of my two daughters.
Something I firmly believe is that foster care was woven into our lives before we even knew it. After the deaths of our daughters, Kennedy and Holland, we decided to honor their memories with love and service. I honestly can’t fully explain why our hearts moved towards foster care, it was as if there was a force we couldn’t really explain and we were scared.
There was so much fear tangled up in those two words: foster care. Fear of the unknown, fear of the label, fear of the responsibility and fear of additional loss. However, the more we learned about foster care, the more we saw the desperate need in our own backyard. We also quickly realized that people like to talk about the scary parts of foster care more than the realities and beautiful sides. I am so grateful that we didn’t listen to the “warnings” of how bad it could be because in the two years we have been involved in the system our family has been changed for the better. We’ve also met so many wonderful people who have also been positively affected by foster care. There is so much good in this act of service, but like anything, you often have to choose to see the good, because yes it’s hard, but foster care is so worth it.
Honestly, we entered into foster care thinking we were the ones who were going to do a little “good”. But in reality, these children have taught us to be braver, kinder, selfless, compassionate, and more forgiving. They have become our teachers. My hope is that this conversation, talking about the positive sides of foster care, would continue and eventually erase the fear that lingers after the words “foster care” are spoken. The world needs to know that these children need us and we need them, because I fully believe they are the ones who will change the world. All they need is someone to believe in them.
If you’re thinking about getting involved in foster care I want to encourage you to be honest about your intentions. Ask yourself why you’re interested in foster care and remind yourself of that answer when things get hard. This process isn’t perfect, but it needs people who are motivated and willing to help support and shape our nation’s future leaders. Also, something that is really helpful is to reach out to social workers, foster parents or anyone you know involved in this journey. Ask them a million questions, and then ask more. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. The more we educate ourselves, the more we can help and support foster youth. I will never fully understand what it is like to be in foster care. The pain, loss and fear these children have felt is something unimaginable to me, however we can understand the need to show compassion and love while foster youth learn to navigate their feelings and comprehend their realities. They need to know they are safe and loved no matter what. And something I hope every person out there will hear: If fear is the one thing stopping you from becoming a foster parent: don’t. ever. let. fear. win. You are capable of caring for foster children if you have the heart and desire for it.
In closing, it took the loss of our two daughters to open our eyes to the need in our county. I desperately wish we would have seen that need sooner. Each time we get a phone call for a child in need, I have the opportunity to think of our daughters. Through our loss, these kids have gained our love. Through their loss, we have gained so much more than we ever thought was possible. There are so many awful things that happen in our world daily, things we have no control over. However, we do have control over how we spend our time, how will you chose to spend yours?
Brook Beatty, Foster Mom