Kids Life Tuscaloosa January/February 2022 - Page 19

was a newborn baby that stayed with us for a short period and was reunified with family . Yes , we became attached , but it was not about us . It was about providing a safe , loving home for however long that kiddo was with us . While our biological children cried a few tears of sadness , my husband and I were overjoyed the kiddo was able to go home to some of his safe and loving family . I would argue becoming attached should be a requirement . These children deserve nothing less . As for our biological children , one of my husbands ’ greatest concerns was about how our biological kids would be impacted , possibly in a negative manner . I cannot emphasize just how much good it has been for them . For our family , it has grown our children ’ s character and I believe will continue to do so . We currently have a long-term placement we received the week covid-19 started becoming a real concern for our area during Spring Break of 2020 . Halfjokingly , each of our girls claims he is their favorite sibling to everyone they meet . I want to be completely honest though , it has not always been smooth sailing . As with anything new , there is a learning curve . We ’ ve had conflicts and we ’ ve had difficulties , but the Lord has allowed redemption in those areas for our family . Foster care is not an easy road , but it is so worth it .
Being in the foster care community for two years now , my family has been able to see some of the many needs throughout the whole community . These needs range from children in the foster care system to their biological families , kinship families , foster families , and even the needs at DHR . Knowing these needs has led us and another foster family to raise awareness and show the many ways others can love these people and meet their needs . While new foster families are always needed , we believe supporting the community is just as important . Some of the tangible ways to support can be seen is churches hosting date nights for foster parents , hosting TIPS training , hosting Tuscaloosa County Foster and Adoptive Parent Association monthly meetings , donating funds to TCFAPA and so many more . A very real need right now is being a driver for these kiddos for appointments and visitations ( mileage is reimbursed ). If interested , please contact DHR . Becoming a Love Box Leader or a Dare to Dream Mentor through Tuscaloosa Angels is also a great blessing to these children and their families . The list really could go on and on . So , I want to close with what started as a desire to care for children in their time of need has transformed into something so much more encompassing , and my prayer is that others would come along and support a very real need so close to home .

I have recently become an advocate for the local foster care community through a nationally known organization , The Forgotten Initiative . At TFI our vision is to help people everywhere support the foster care community . If this is something you , an organization you are with , or your church is interested in supporting , please don ’ t hesitate to reach out to me at stephanieo @ theforgotteninitative . org . www . kidslifemagazine . com