Six years ago, our family said “Yes” to foster care having no idea where it would lead us. What started for us as a hope to adopt became a deeper understanding of the need and a desire to do more good.
Our journey through foster care thus far has brought us the great privilege of adopting three siblings, connecting with biological family members and seeing families be put back together.
Foster care has stretched us and brought us to places we never imagined.
I never imagined …
- Adopting three siblings
- The gift of being a support in helping a family heal
- Having a 1-, 2-, and 3-year-old at the same time
- My heart would have room to love another child this way, and another, and another …
- How hard it would be to watch a child move on
- How hard it would be on a child to be removed from all they know and brought to a stranger’s house
- How foster care would teach our biological children to love and accept others so well
- I would come to love my foster child’s biological family
- Our foster license needing to be amended so we could provide a safe place for a child who was difficult to find a home for
- We would move to a bigger house to open up for more kids
- These little people and the families connected to them would be a part of our hearts forever
And I never imagined we would foster a teenager
I knew we were in for it when the placement worker said, “I know this is a different situation than we normally call you for, but I hope you’ll keep an open mind.” Two hours later, we entered into uncharted waters when a teenage boy walked through our door.
Fostering a teenager is something we didn’t expect to do, especially at this point in life where we have only parented up to the preteen age. However, I am so glad that we once again said yes to foster care. Although we enter into caring for a teenager with concerns that we don’t know what we are doing, what we do know is we can be a support for him, we can make sure he graduates high school and has the life skills to live on his own. It is an honor to enter his life at this stage of emerging adulthood, to show him what family can look like and to set him up for success.
Now I wonder what our next “YES” to foster care will be.
– Charonne Ganiere, licensed foster parent
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services recruits, trains and provides support services for foster families. The need for foster parents in Wisconsin is great. Contact us to receive information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, or visit our website to learn more.