Honestly, our 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath 1950s ranch is plenty big for our family. The truth is Kevin and I have been foster parents for the last 6 years. Our two birth children are 9 and 7 years old. We have fostered 14 children over the years. They have ranged in age from 4 days to 18 years. We adopted our 2-1/2 year old son in 2005. We are hoping to do the same with our 9 month old daughter.
You might be asking why I am bringing this up in a Real Estate blog. Well, May is National Foster Care Month. Kevin and I enjoy selling real estate; it allows us to do what we really love - help kids.
There are currently 513,000 children in foster care. Could you open up your heart for one of them? If you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, please feel free to contact me or the numerous websites available.
One of our goals is to educate families to the joy of foster care. Joy of foster care you ask - yes, it is a joy. I won't lie, there are many hard times. Times going to and from the doctor, the hospital stays, phone calls from the principal, midnight feedings, monthly social worker visits and angry birth parent.
However, nothing is more rewarding than helping a child who is scared and uncertain about the future. I could tell you even more stories full of love and compassion:
- When our son dished out pancakes to all the children at the table and served himself last
- Then he bought the whole block of kids ice cream with his first allowance
- Watching proudly as his baseball team (the first baseball team he was ever on) won the championship and then feeling even more proud when he gave his birth mom the winning trophy
- Then there was the joyful yell our 16 year old made after getting a guitar on her birthday and the priceless look on her face when she learned to play chords
- And another daughter was able to perform with the chorus at her high school graduation and march with her classmates to get her high school diploma
- There are the first steps, the first smiles and being called mama
- But the best of all is the joy of going to city and standing before the judge as he finalizes the adoption
People often ask "You can't keep them all. How do you let them go? I couldn't do that." Well, it is very hard. Many tears have been shed over the years. My older children still mourn the loss of their brothers and sisters. However, we must look at it from this point of view.
These children are in our life for a reason. If our only purpose is to keep them safe and loved while they are with us, then that is what we must do.
Peace - Sherry