My husband, Gary, and I have been licensed foster parents since 1982. So many friendships and memories have been acquired during this time.
I remember visiting with Gary’s aunt at a family Thanksgiving in 1981. She was telling me about a sibling group of three, kids who were in a shelter because they couldn’t find a foster home. All I could think about was how these three kiddos would not be with a family for Christmas.
Gary and I signed up and took all the foster parenting training classes, completed our home study, became licensed, and met some great people and friends along the way. Now, 38 years later, more than 200 children of all ages have come through our home – some overnight, some for days, some for years, and some for forever. Along with our three biological children, we have adopted five kids and had guardianship of one.
We recently decided to retire from foster parenting. We feel it is time for younger foster parents to enjoy years of making a difference in a child’s life.
These kiddos need to have positive role models. And biological parents and caregivers are just people who need some help. We can play a big part in that.
Through the help of our social workers, juvenile court systems, therapists, birth families, and parents working together, foster families can make a difference.
– Kristie, an Iowa foster mom