Last year I was asked if I would share my experiences with foster care and adoption with a group of soon-to-be foster parents. I asked if my son, Boone, could come along with me. The organizers didn’t mind; in fact, they said it might even be fun.
Boone rehearsed a very short version of his story – how he was removed from his birth family and had 11 temporary foster placements before we finally became a family. He definitely seemed a bit nervous, as this would be his first time speaking in public.
The room was full and the audience was seated very close to us, to the point that I was feeling uncomfortable. From the back of the room, the woman in charge told us to introduce ourselves and begin. I had literally just opened my very large, happy-to-talk mouth when a little voice beside me began to speak.
When Jonathan and Lynne Walker decided to become foster parents, their three children, ages 7 to 14, both biological and adopted, were excited. They gave an enthusiastic “yes, let’s do it.” Believing the adjustment to having more children in the home would be relatively easy for their children, the Walkers had yet to experience the impact foster care would have on their children already in their home.
There are a number of concerns for which foster/adoptive parents should be intentionally aware. We are going to talk about three crucial ones. Being alert to these concerns will enable foster and adopted parents to be intentional in managing the needs of all children in their care.
Chris Johnson’s life changed dramatically just over a decade ago. That’s when he, along with
his wife, Alicia, decided to open their home to vulnerable children in foster care.
Married for 25 years, today Chris and Alicia are parents to 10 children, seven of whom were adopted out of the foster care system. They like to refer to themselves as the #JohnsonDozen, and they actively share their story in recruiting and supporting other foster and adoptive families.