‘Their hearts are broken every day’
Patricia Collar thought only married people could be foster parents.
When she learned differently from a radio report, "I signed up immediately." Since 1999, she’s cared for about 40 children.
Now she hopes you, too, will sign up to help the youngest Oklahomans who need loving foster home settings.
Collar is the Circle of Care’s new foster parent recruiter-trainer in the Shawnee area.
She said recently, "There’s no greater joy than to watch a broken child blossom."
Collar described a 2-year-old girl formerly in her care. Almost three months passed before the tot stopped hitting her and pulling her hair.
"She was just so unhappy," Collar said. "I thought: I don’t know that I can do this." But she remained committed.
"One morning the little one woke up and smiled at me. From then on, she was like a different child; she was always smiling."
Collar’s dream of motherhood began when she herself was a child. The opportunity to foster has blessed her in that role many times over. Patricia and Herbert Collar also have two adopted children.
She is glad Circle of Care is branching into more of the state. The United Methodist-related ministry provides great additional support for foster families, she said, help that is unavailable from the Department of Human Services.
Collar previously worked as a court liaison and a behavioral health specialist.
First steps in her Circle of Care job include connecting with Shawnee churches, not only United Methodist. She had recruited and was training two foster families by late November. Training has been streamlined, and the goal is certification within 60 days.
"It was God’s time. He knew when the doors would open," Collar said of her new role. "I have always felt moved by Him and wanting to do His work here on earth."
Foster parenting is a calling, she declared. "There’s no question your heart will be broken. I realize it isn’t about me; it’s what’s best for the children. Their hearts are broken every day."
Collar said she maintains "wonderful relationships" with several families whose children she has loved. "It’s wonderful to know you planted a seed."
Want to know more about foster parenting? Contact her: Patricia.firstname.lastname@example.org, 405-693-7795. — Holly McCray
See related story: Circle of Care extends foster services into 4 more cities
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