Title Image

FOSTERING FOUR WHILE ON THE FRONT LINES

FOSTERING FOUR WHILE ON THE FRONT LINES

If you are wondering how a single woman with a nursing job can handle 4 foster kids ranging from 3 to 7 years old, during COVID19, you have to look at her past and the people now walking alongside her in this journey.  

There is an old adage that rings true in Chiara’s story, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  Behind the scenes, God was putting Chiara through an unseen “school” for kids in hard places.  The problems that foster kids deal with (through no fault of their own) span the boundaries of mental, physical and emotional, social, educational, and relational health.  And there are few that can understand AND handle the complexity, like Chiara.

Although Chiara was not looking for help, she kept bumping into people who told her about Commission127.  Fostering is a small community in the Orlando area, so when one foster mom finds “gold”, word gets around fast.  At a joint sibling visitation, foster mom, Bethany, invited Chiara to talk to Betsey Bell about having a care team.  The rest is history. Chiara got a 10 person volunteer team wrapped around her that knew what to do, even though she wasn’t sure what exactly they did.  She said what was appealing was the ability to have someone to ask for help.  “It’s hard to keep asking the same friends and family for help. I figured, that’s what they signed up for, so it made it easier to just ask.”  

If you are wondering how a single woman with a nursing job can handle 4 foster kids ranging from 3 to 7 years old, during COVID19, you have to look at her past and the people now walking alongside her in this journey.  

There is an old adage that rings true in Chiara’s story, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  Behind the scenes, God was putting Chiara through an unseen “school” for kids in hard places.  The problems that foster kids deal with (through no fault of their own) span the boundaries of mental, physical and emotional, social, educational, and relational health.  And there are few that can understand AND handle the complexity, like Chiara.

Although Chiara was not looking for help, she kept bumping into people who told her about Commission127.  Fostering is a small community in the Orlando area, so when one foster mom finds “gold”, word gets around fast.  At a joint sibling visitation, foster mom, Bethany, invited Chiara to talk to Betsey Bell about having a care team.  The rest is history. Chiara got a 10 person volunteer team wrapped around her that knew what to do, even though she wasn’t sure what exactly they did.  She said what was appealing was the ability to have someone to ask for help.  “It’s hard to keep asking the same friends and family for help. I figured, that’s what they signed up for, so it made it easier to just ask.”  

Team duo, Krista and Liam, came to the rescue. They drove to the doctor’s office and waited by the happily-snacking, mini-vanned, kids while Chiara ushered her sick child into the facility.  Another impossible day turned out pretty amazing. 

Statistics show that, despite the grit and giftings of foster parents, like Chiara, she, and 50% of others like her, will quit fostering after one year.  It’s not hard to see why. But statistics show something else too.  90% of foster families will continue after one year of fostering if they have an engineered care community to depend on.  

No one should have to foster alone.  Especially our first responders.  Chiara is not the kind of person who would ask for help, but neither should she have to.  We can all do something for foster parents.  We can cook, assemble a backyard jungle gym or just stand by a minivan full of kids.  These are the things that don’t look like fostering, but make families stronger and continuing to foster … 90% longer.

Each week, Chiara’s team is checking on her, praying for her, and bringing her a meal.  She knows they can be depended on to fill in the gaps for that eventual emergency.  She also knows, next year, she’s going to have another amazing birthday!

Tags: