Curious about Bay Area foster care? Meet Kari – wife, mom of almost two (baby on the way!), and current Bay Area foster parent to two medically fragile babies. These are just two of the 12 babies Kari and her husband have welcomed into their home on the path to reunification with their parents.
There is a huge need for foster parents in the Bay Area, and Kari and her husband felt called to help ensure that children in need have a loving home. Keep reading to learn more about their story.
A: When I was 15, I found out it would be almost impossible for me to have biological children without medical intervention. I had always dreamed of being a mother, and so I set out to do it in a different way. When I was 18, I met a woman who took care of medically fragile foster babies and I instantly knew that that is what God was calling me to do. If I couldn’t be a mother to my own child, then I would be a mother to those who needed it most. It was something my husband and I talked about at length while we were dating. It took him a few years to come around to the idea of changing diapers for the rest of his life, but 3 years into our marriage we took the foster parenting courses in San Mateo County and after learning about everything these kids had been through, he was hooked.
A: We were blessed to adopt our daughter last September after having her in our home for 2.5 years.
A: We actually went into foster care as a non-adoption home. We truly believe in the redemption that comes with reunification and enjoy working along side birth families as they work hard to get their children back.
A: The biggest struggle has been the unknown. We really don’t know much about the families we are serving, just what is needed to know to take care of the children. There is a lot of wonder involved, and when children reunify it’s hard to let go not knowing where they are going or how they are going to be cared for. We truly love each child that has been in our home, and I assume the way I feel sending them back to their biological families is no where close to how their bio families felt when the kids were taken and placed with me. Which definitely humbles me in that moment.
A: Obviously the best thing has been our daughter and her siblings. We have also really found our tribe doing foster care. When you foster, it’s hard to find people who really understand the emotions you go through, so finding other families who foster is crucial. Some of our best friends are foster parents we have met in support groups. Not only do we have shared experiences, but so do our kids which is so important for them.
A: Definitely check out your local county and see what they offer in terms of courses. In San Mateo County, the website for that is www.helpsanmateokids.com. You can also check out Foster the City. They have a lot of information and support for foster families.
A: Absolutely get involved with Foster the City! They raise up what are called support friends to support foster families in different ways. For example, our support friends bring monthly meals, and when we redid our daughters room to celebrate her adoption, they came and helped us paint! There’s definitely a way for everyone to help.
Foster care is life changing in all the best ways. I highly recommend getting involved in any way possible!
Thank you, Kari for sharing your story with us! For more information on becoming a foster parent in your county, visit one of the following websites:
Alameda County Foster Care
Marin County Foster Care
San Francisco Foster Care
San Mateo County Foster Care
Santa Clara County Foster Care
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