Martha and Marti first became foster parents in September of 2018. They were inspired to start when their biological children became interested.
“They really wanted to look into foster care as a way to be able to help others as a family,” Martha says. “They brought it up to us in 2016 and at the time, we felt like we were chest-deep in their needs, so we put it off. But as they got older, we realized if we wanted to do this as a family, we needed to do that and pursue what it looks like before they were not in our home anymore.”
Once the family was licensed to foster, they welcomed a sibling group of three into their home. The siblings stayed with the family for almost two years, until the opportunity came for them to find a forever home through adoption. Over the years, the siblings had become connected to Martha and Marti, as well as their extended family and friends. The siblings are currently in the process of officially being adopted by a family close to Martha and Marti, so they can continue to stay connected to the important relationships they built in foster care.
“In taking three kids in our first placement, it gave everybody a very accurate perspective of what foster care truly means,” Martha says. “Everybody had to sacrifice and pour in, and everybody was needed and brought something to the table.”
Martha says she wishes more people knew about the wide range of needs foster families have, and how neighbors can support the foster families in their communities. That’s why it’s critical for families to collaborate with other foster parents and lean on their support systems like DHS and LSI Foster Care and Adoption.
“We really appreciate the social workers who have come alongside to help our family. It’s so critical in the success of the family,” she says. “The general public doesn’t understand the depth of foster care and what it means as a family to serve others in your home. So it’s very important for foster parents to stick together and help each other through the ups and downs, and be willing to listen and be a support.”
To the families who are considering becoming licensed, Martha offered some advice: Don’t let the long process or the tough days take away from focusing on and advocating for the needs of the children who are counting on you.
“We always explain fostering as ‘good’ and ‘hard.’ You never want to take one away from the other, because it’s both. It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done, but it’s the best thing we’ve done,” she says. “We’ve had the privilege of having the kids in our home and you have the responsibility and the privilege to take care of them in their time of need.”