Our Foster Care Journey

I read a book on orphanages in a high school psychology class. That was my first inclination to work with children in need of a home. Soon after reading the book, I found out that happily, orphanages were not the norm any longer in the United States. I set aside the orphanage thought and went on with my life. I began working with horses and youth, volunteering in 4-H groups and in our church. Years later, I had worked with groups of children as a camp counselor and as a horse trainer with good success.

Time flew by, and soon my husband, Jim, and I had been married for six years and still no biological children. My mother had asked me to help mentor an acquaintance of hers who was having trouble with her son. I did, and soon became discouraged when his family could not make the changes needed to help him with his behaviors. It was that exact time that I first heard of fostering. I actually saw an ad on a TV expressing a need for foster parents. So, what inspired me? I was inspired by my love for children, my lack of biological children and seeing an ad at just the right moment in time. I’ve always had a great desire to help make the world a better place. I love Mother Theresa’s quote, “Do small things with great love.” It is a small thing that we do, but I hope we help to change the trajectory of the few lives we have touched.

Change. The thing that propels me forward is seeing even the tiniest of changes for the positive in our children. Daily, I try to focus on the way things are flowing toward the positive. Over the years, we have learned to focus our sights on what is going right, rather than on what is going wrong. We have especially noticed the positive changes with the two youngest we adopted through fostering. Seeing those changes has been well worth the journey. No one is perfect, though they are leaps and bounds beyond where they started and we are complimented on them often by both our family and by strangers alike.

Seeing the transformation is like watching the metamorphosis of a butterfly. It is all very slow, and to the eye it seems like nothing is happening. Then one day, if you are patient, you will get to see the beauty when that butterfly breaks through. It is just breathtakingly beautiful. And like the butterfly, a lot of the work is internal for the caterpillar and cannot be done by you; you simply provide the safe and stable environment and the encouragement.

Stay tuned to hear more about our treatment foster care journey!

Hyke PhotoChris was a foster parent and adoptive parent who resides in southeastern Wisconsin with her husband, two children and multiple animals! She and her husband have been foster parents for 11 years and enjoy spending time as a family, horseback riding, and enjoying the great outdoors!