Posts tagged National Foster Care Month
The Joys of Parenting Foster Youth

From the other room we heard our eldest son whisper, “I know this is scary. When I went to my first home I was scared too. But we are safe and we will feed you and we won’t hurt you at all. I’ll be your buddy.” For the next week, that little boy was never more than two feet away from our eldest son, he was his safe person through that difficult and confusing time. 

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Twins Fostering Together!

“I didn’t know twin sisters could foster together!” We hear this statement often as we tell our story and, honestly, when we began to pursue foster care, we didn’t know if we would be allowed to foster together, either!

I'm Kelli Hoeckner and my sister Kimmee and I are identical twin sisters and we’ve been fostering together for almost one year! Oh, and did I mention we're 25 years old?

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Loving With Purpose

Fostering children, on my own, became a passion of mine when I was in my early 20’s. I had been in a long-term relationship that I had poured my heart into, and it all come crashing down. When I lost my relationship, I lost who I was. After my relationship ended I knew it was time to start loving the right people. I have a very strong passion to love children, to love them with all my being, to shelter and to protect them.

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Don't Let Fear Rob You

I honestly was afraid of foster care. I was afraid of the unknown. I was afraid of the complicated mess, and the endless sacrifices that have to be made. My life was comfortable and predictable and I was afraid of messing that up. I also doubted myself as a mom. I doubted that I had the ability to love a child that's not my own like he/she is my own, and to be able to continue to provide a loving home for my own children while adding the stresses of fostering.

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The Only Thing You Have Control Over...

We have learned that foster care is not about our needs as much as it is about the needs of the children. Many children who come into foster care have been subjected to neglect and abuse, however, giving a child a safe home, that is full of unconditional love – we feel, is one of the most rewarding and satisfying things in the world. There will be many things out of your control throughout the foster process, but the one thing you can control is your attitude regarding the situation and how you treat/respond to the children in your home.

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Choosing Foster Care Over Comfort

Prior to getting involved, we both felt quite leery of looking into foster care. The stigma was strong growing up and we had our reservations about opening our home to the government! The horror stories and bad experiences people love to talk about were in our minds as well. But once we started pursuing it, we realized that these were nothing more than stigmas and that even if they were true, our desire and faith are stronger and greater than our fears and reservations.

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Outside of our Comfort Zones

Letting this fear rule me, listening to horror stories from the news and Facebook pages.  This wasn't helpful thinking, either. Instead, we have been able to tackle foster care one day at a time. It's not always easy, and sometimes loving someone from a hard place is HARD, but again, it's so very worth it. The benefits and character growth that I've experienced through foster care is worth so much more than the pain and "suffering" it has caused. 

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How Did I Decide To Become a Single Foster Mom? 

Not a day goes by without someone asking how I decided to be a foster mom.  Maybe it’s because I’m single, have a full time lawyer job, and have no biological kiddos.  Maybe it’s because it seems crazy to sign up for almost guaranteed grief and a life that is all but impossible to plan.  Whatever the reason for the question, it’s a good and important one. 

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How Foster Care Affects You

The amount of homeless people would decrease, crimes would decrease, drug consumption would decrease, break down of the family would decrease and much more…You see 20% of children aging out of foster care instantly end up homeless, 80% of men who age out of foster care are arrested and 60% of these men are convicted, 1 out of 2 kids who age out of the system become substance dependent, 7 out of 10 girls who age out of foster care are pregnant by the time they turn 21 and their children often enter foster care, thus repeating the cycle of breaking down families and growing our nation’s foster care crisis.

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Romania Reborn

A broken yet hopeful country, heavily influenced by communism is slowly being built back up again with the help of organizations like Romania Reborn. Co-founders, Whitney and Nick Runyon, had the opportunity to visit Romania Reborn and witness their foster homes and the effect they are having on children who were once confined to the walls of institutional care. 

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