Spotlight Foster Family:
Trish K. & son, Gunar
Who: Trish K. is a pre-school speech therapist and single mother of 8-year-old son, Gunar
Philosophy: To make sure her foster children are having fun and that their time in her home is as enjoyable as possible.
How long have you been a foster parent?
June marks the 1 year anniversary of me becoming a foster parent.
How many children have you fostered?
I have provided temporary respite care for 7 children and fulltime foster care for 2 children.
Do you have any current foster children?
Yes, right now I am caring for a 5-month-old baby boy.
Why did you decide to become a resource parent?
I decided to become a resource parent because I knew it would teach valuable life lessons to my son. Also, because I hoped that foster parenting would someday lead to adoption and because I wanted to open our home to provide love, care, safety, and comfort to children in need.
Why did you pick Gateway-Longview?
A friend of a friend recommended Gateway-Longview to me. She invited me to a recruitment event at Hamburg Wesleyan Church and I brought my son. Foster parenting was already in my plans and after attending the event, I knew Gateway-Longview was a fit for me and Gunar.
What do you like best about Gateway-Longview?
The people at Gateway-Longview are great to work with. They are kind, efficient, professional, and understanding. I know they are there for the right reasons. They always address any issues we are having quickly and answer all my questions. They also helped my son by introducing him to the foster care program, telling him what to expect, and helping him adjust and prepare for his foster siblings.
What is the most rewarding part of foster parenting?
Seeing the happiness of the children while they are in our home is the most rewarding part of being a foster parent. It’s also very rewarding when kids request to come back to our house. That’s how I know they are having fun and I’m doing my job.
What is the most difficult part?
With a baby? Interrupted sleep [laughing]! But, I wouldn’t trade it for anything! On a serious note, it takes a flexible schedule to be a foster parent. I try to plan for the unexpected that can happen with the various appointments and meetings that can come up at any time. Like with all children, they get sick and things come up, so I sometimes have to rearrange my schedule to accommodate them.
Do you have any funny stories about foster parenting?
The first time we ever had foster children in our home was a group of three brothers for respite weekends. The very first weekend they were with us, I was getting ready to go to a birthday party and the boys were outside playing when our dog went missing. We called for her, looked in the woods, and even drove around for a half hour, but there was no sign of our dog. We were all so upset, but we were running out of time and had to leave for the party. So I reported her missing to the police, and off we went to the party. Hours later when we came home, the oldest sibling said out of nowhere, “I have a good feeling. I’m going to go outside one more time and call for the dog.” So he did and just like that, the dog came running to him! He said, “I knew it! I knew she would come back! I said a prayer and she came back!” He was so proud that he didn’t lose faith. He said that’s why it’s important to never give up.
Do you have any advice for newly certified resource parents?
The joy the children bring when they come to your home will outweigh any challenges or heartache you may face. Unexpected situations arise during foster parenting. A child may leave your home after being with you for only a short period of time. But it is all worth it in the end.
Final thoughts: I am blessed to have had great experiences with good kids, and wonderful families to work with.
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