From 1 to 50: Karen's Story for the US Children's Bureau
A couple of weeks ago I spent two full days in a room with strangers. We were a group of foster parents chosen to participate in a national Foster Care Awareness Month campaign for the US Children’s Bureau. We wrote about our experiences in foster care, chose family photos, recorded our words, and created videos that told our stories.
We all laughed and cried as we watched each other's stories, and I immediately knew I wanted to share them with all of you. The videos will be released in May, but the words are the most powerful part. I hope you enjoy reading a few of our stories. Below is Karen's story of faith and family and 50 foster children.
One of the biggest joys in my life is being a mom. I had my three biological children when I was young. When my youngest was 15, I knew I wasn’t even close to being ready to stop mothering.
It was then that my husband and I started the process of becoming foster parents. At the beginning, we wanted only one young child. To date, we’ve had 50 children in our home. We went from a three bedroom home to a six bedroom home, allowing us to have the room for more children to love.
After buying our new home, we got two little boys. After a year of bonding with us, we were told that the plan was adoption. My husband and I earnestly put this to prayer and one day we heard a song called “Lead Me.” We were brought to tears and knew that God was calling us to make these boys ours forever.
In 2015, a 10 year old girl came into our care. We instantly knew that she was meant to be. Before meeting us, she told her caseworker that she wanted to be adopted by a family that went to church and had a mom, dad, younger siblings, pets, and a trampoline. On November 18, 2016 (National Adoption Day), we adopted her, and she got them all.
There are many challenges being a foster parent. Saying good-bye is the hardest part, but God gives us the grace to move on and the strength when we feel weak. We also receive so much support through family, church, and other foster families. Foster parents go through things that one else understands. We need each other.
I raised a family once. Now I get to do it again. How many people get to raise a family twice?
I feel beyond blessed to have the family I have today, and I feel beyond blessed to be “mom” to so many children.