Sometimes we forget what a privilege it is to have a family — to have a parent (or two) and maybe some siblings. Not every child has that. Did you know that there are over 400,000 kids in the foster care system? While this is a daunting statistic, we find a touch of relief in knowing that there are things we can do to help. First, we take a moment to learn about others’ experiences and listen to the impact being a part of the foster care system has had on them. We have the honor of sharing a little bit of the stories of three women, including one of our own team members, and their foster care journeys. Join us and read along.
Taught us patience, grace, and forgiveness
“We started the journey with foster care two years ago. We knew in our hearts that the Lord was calling us to do something more.
We opened up our home in 2020 and had a sweet toddler boy that joined our family. He was with us for one month before going to his forever home. In that month we saw our bio daughters open up their hearts to love another toddler in ways that we never imagined. After he left, we welcomed another sweet baby boy. We thought our family was complete, but God had another plan. We soon welcomed another boy into our home. We had three 1-year-olds and a 3-year-old. These two boys have taught us patience, grace, and forgiveness, and we’ll soon be adopting both of them.
The journey to get here has been messy. There are nights I laid in bed angry and upset, but all of the stress is well worth it. We couldn’t do this journey without the huge support system we have. I know not everyone can open up their hearts and homes to children, but there’s so many other ways that people can become involved in foster care. They can donate items, cook meals for foster parents who are juggling appointments, court hearings, visits and therapies, they can be a listening ear when foster parents need to vent, and they can pray. “ ~Britney K.
They will always leave footprints on your heart
“There has always been a feeling inside me to want to foster and hopefully have an opportunity to adopt children. Then there came a point where it went from more than just a feeling, but to a calling that could not be ignored. My husband and I started our journey of fostering in late 2018. We went into it with the hopes that one day we would be able to adopt, but we also had an understanding that if we are only a temporary stop on in these little ones’ journeys, that we would be blessed for the time spent with them and ensure that they always felt loved and were well taken care of. We’ve had our current placement of two sibling sisters for two years now.
We thought we were fully prepared for all that would come with fostering. The emotions, twists, and turns have been interesting for sure. However, if we had to go back, we would happily do it over again. Fostering is hard and will bring out emotions that you never thought you’d have, but just like anything else in life you work through them. You build your “village” with non-fostering family support and you also find amazing lifelong friends in the fostering community to lean on. You become tenacious and you guide, raise, mentor, and most importantly, unconditionally love the little ones that truly bless you. Though some foster children may leave your life, they will always leave footprints in your heart. Fostering is a journey, not for the faint at heart, but it will change your life in the most precious way you ever imagined!” ~Katrina N.
It takes a village
“Being a single foster and adoptive mom to two toddlers definitely comes with unique challenges. The sheer force of baby energy that tears through my house everyday is enough to send anyone into a tailspin. There are medical and social worker appointments to make, biological family visits to support, and typical child-related unforeseen emergencies that pop up.
It takes a village to raise a child and having a reliable support network is even more imperative when caring for foster children. I never predicted my place of work would become a big part of my personal village, but Little Sleepies’ family-first ethos has shown me what it means to feel supported in every area of my life!
They continuously make it crystal clear that the well-being of all of our children and families are top priority. Now when I match my guys in Little Sleepies at Disneyland or when I tuck them into bed in one of our super soft zippies, it’s not just the cute print that makes me smile. It’s the knowledge that my amazing teammates have our back through this very emotional and complex journey.” ~Angela D.
A big thank you to Britney, Katrina, and Angela for opening up about their experiences. Those kiddos are incredibly lucky to have you in their lives.
To learn more about how you can support kids and families who are a part of the foster care system, AdoptUSKids and FosterMore are both great resources. Also, if you have resources you’d like to share, please drop them in the comments below, we'd love to check them out!