Laura* has been a professional foster parent for 28 years. During these years, she has always had at least one child in her home. At times, she’s had as many as 12.
All told, Laura has fostered about 150 kids. And she’s not afraid of taking the tough kids and sibling groups. In recognition of her service, she was named Washington County’s Foster Parent of the Year in 2010.
The children drive Laura’s generosity. "I love the kids, and there are always lots of kids in need."
Circle of Care’s Child SHARE program delivers fuel for their journey.
Child SHARE supports foster parents by providing goods such as car seats, clothes, welcome baskets, and occasional tickets to community events. Just as important is the emotional and spiritual support of the network.
"There are always times when you need prayer," Laura shares.
One mantra that she teaches her kids: You’re braver than you think. It is a saying she repeats when her kids need to deal with seemingly small things, like how to handle bugs in the house. She also repeats it for bigger things, like going to get a shot at the doctor’s.
The end result is mental strength that gives her children the courage to face their fears.
For one of her children, Laura explains, that meant going into his bedroom alone because "bad things happened in the bedroom."
It was an accomplishment when the boy went into his upstairs bedroom by himself. He was proud and yelled down to her, "I’m in the bedroom, I’m all by myself, and I’m OK!"
In early 2014, Laura was caring for three children by birth and nine more from guardianship, adoption, or in the process of being adopted.
"These are incredible kids who need someone to take a chance on them."
In addition to inspiring her foster kids, Laura’s mantra applies to prospective foster parents: You’re braver than you think.
(Excerpted, Circle of Care Special Appeal 2014. * = Substitute name.)
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