I was not onboard. Foster care scared me. I was scared of birth families and what kind of relationship I would have with them. I was so ignorant before getting involved.
We talked about it for awhile. My husband is the “let’s just do this” type and I’m more the “first let’s think of the hundreds of reasons why it won’t work” type.
I’m Kelsey, and together with my husband, Chris, we became foster parents, and eventually, adopted through foster care!
Explaining why we became a foster family is a loaded question. The long answer would be to tell you about everything, from my boss sharing his daughter’s passions as a social worker, to my own brokenness. I could tell you about the day I met a beautiful little girl at the park that we would later have to call child protect services for. I could tell you about how one day, I cried in the bathroom broken from my own childhood pain surfacing, and how I just knew that God was going to use it all in some way through foster care. But the short story is that we saw the need.
We were in the process of getting licensed, and a friend mentioned a little girl that may need a home. I remember the day that I heard of her for the first time, it was a warm summer night in a blueberry field. That little girl ended up being our first placement. She was 15 months old and would become the absolute best gift our family could have received and we are forever changed. She never left, and she took our last name on June 10th, 2016.
We have since had multiple foster kiddos in our home, one of which was a little girl with Down Syndrome. We learned fast and hard how to advocate for a child with special needs and I’m so thankful for that six months that we had with her. I didn’t understand how beautiful Down Syndrome is until we had that little girl in our home.
Currently, we provide respite care, opening our home to other foster families to help them and give them much needed breaks.
I said before that my biggest fear was biological families. Let me also say, I was scared of everything, so if you are too, it’s okay! As far as biological families go, I now have so much love for my daughter’s birth mom. Truly, it is such a beautiful thing! It is so important to help these kiddos carry their story by holding it with them. We recently showed our daughter pictures of her biological brothers and we plan on starting some FaceTime visits with them and their adoptive mom soon!
Here are my suggestions for where to learn more about foster care:
- If you, or someone you know, wants to know more or get involved in foster care, find someone to talk to who is in it. You can talk to me, anytime! You will need them and trust me, they want to know you too! Nothing is better than having your foster care community;
- Also, check out conferences, the Refresh conference will change you;
- Plug into social media community groups, and;
- I highly recommend getting licensed through a private agency you trust.
The need is huge. There are kids that need homes. Simple as that. It’s worth it. It just is. It’s so hard…I won’t lie about that. But it truly is so very worth it.