Caril R., Foster Parent
Where has your journey taken you? Have you embarked on a journey that changed your life?
Many people have a specific vision for their lives. Even in her 20s, Caril was interested in foster parenting and was open to the idea that someday she might become one. Her vision was to give safety, love, and a better life to children that, sadly, had been separated from their family. In her eyes, adoption was not a part of that vision. Instead, she would welcome children in and out of her home, loving and providing for them until she helped as many as she could.
Caril believed that reunification of her foster children with their birth family would be the ultimate goal. In reality, that is not always possible. Shortly after becoming a foster parent, it didn’t take long for Caril to realize her journey may not be what she had envisioned. After fostering two siblings, Anna*, 11, and John*, 14, for two years, Caril learned they would not be able to reunite with their birth family and would be freed for adoption.
“As of a few years ago, I had no intention of adopting children. I didn’t even give it a thought. I was happy being a foster parent. However, the journey changes you,” Caril said. She is now in the process of adopting Anna & John and becoming a forever family. “It’s all a journey and process. The facts changed me.”
Unfortunately, the facts are staggering. There are nearly 400,000 children living without permanent families in the United States. More than 100,000 of them are eligible for adoption. Each year, 23,000 will simply age out of the foster care system without finding permanent homes. Today, there is an urgent need for foster homes as the amount of children entering foster care grows higher than the parents available to foster them. Furthermore, the need for foster homes for teens and siblings is even greater.
Now that they are about to become a forever family, Caril, Anna, and John plan to help other foster families. One of their ideas is to help build a large home for a family that fosters many children, providing the space and resources they need to care for even more children. Their goal is to create a world with too many foster homes and not enough children to fill them. It is the opposite of the problem we have today, and a beautiful vision.
*The names of the children have been changed.
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