We are celebrating National Foster Care Month in a number of ways – one of which is by featuring some of our foster families on our social media pages. It seems very appropriate to start with Jason and Christine, our first foster family!
Jason and Christine have been foster parents for around two years. They have had seven children placed with them, and many others have stayed with them for short term placements. They got in to foster care because they felt like they had more love to give to children in need, and they had a home that could support them. “Neither of us ever dreamed we would be doing this, but we both felt a tug on our hearts to care for these children at one of their most vulnerable stages in their lives,” Christine said.
While Jason and Christine were completing foster parent training, they decided they wanted to foster children who fell in the age ranges of their girls. They definitely didn’t want to foster babies, as they were past that stage. They also didn’t want to foster teenagers, because their girls were younger than that. As foster parents, Jason and Christine have now fostered children of all ages, ranging from newborn babies through an 18-year-old. Their hearts were opened to the needs of children in the system, and they are always up for something outside of the box!
Children have left their home to go to a variety of different places, but Christine said the most rewarding part of foster care has been getting to see children return to their parents. “Our goal for being foster parents is to let the parents get back to a place where they can support and care for their children and their children can heal from the hurt that they endured,” she said. Jason and Christine have maintained contact with some of the children who have left their home, meeting up for lunch or having them over for a play date.
Foster parenting can be both challenging and rewarding. “Tough situations happen in foster care. No way about getting around it unfortunately. These are topics most people are not talking about openly and sometimes frequently… sexual abuse, physical harm, neglect, substance abuse, homelessness, for example,” Christine said. “And if these topics are hard for grown adults, think about them through the eyes of a child. They struggle with them just as much as an adult does and they come out in many forms of reactions. This is where the rubber meets the road and it can get tough.”
Jason and Christine have grown stronger in their marriage, and their whole family has grown together through their experiences. Christine said there are moments where foster care is easy, and other moments where it is tough. Children who come to live with Jason and Christine become part of the family, meaning they do the not-so-fun things like cleaning and laundry, along with doing the fun things like going to the zoo or to dinner. Jason and Christine want every child that enters their home to feel like they belong and are part of their family.
We are thankful that Jason and Christine decided to open their family to the realities of foster care, and for their perseverance and willingness to help. Jason and Christine have done wonderful things for the children placed with them, as well as their biological families. Jason and Christine have also been great mentors to new foster parents, and are always willing to share advice or hand-me-down clothes!