Foster Caring – Just Do It!

YouTube Preview Image

Had a great conversation today about Foster Care with 2 wonderful moms.  They had many questions about the system, the process, the kids, and how they  can make a difference.  I said Just Do It!

Bottom line is that May is Foster Care Awareness Month and I’m doing my best to spread the word and help recruit fabulous foster families for the almost 500K kids in care.  Yes, there are THAT many kids!  We need great foster parents…..for these vulnerable children without a voice.  If you have room in your heart and your home, just do it!  One phone call can change a life…..your and theirs!

Thanks for listening and getting the word out…..it’s ALL about the kids!

Rita

Can you picture yourself changing a life?  Do you know what the steps are to becoming a foster parent?  Have you ever inquired?  Know any foster parents?  Want to learn more?

About Rita Brennan Freay

The journey of a 1000 miles always ends with a dirty diaper. Headmaster of a self inflicted international preschool & visitor center compassionately changing kids lives, one diaper at a time.
This entry was posted in adoption, fostercare and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Foster Caring – Just Do It!

  1. Vanessa says:

    Butternut squash (or beuturntt pumpkin) is one of those in-between foods similar to sweet corn, green peas, and snow peas the portion size needs to be limited as it is a source of fructan/GOS (not a HUGE source) but enough to keep the portion small about 1/2 cup serving. So you could enjoy as a small side dish or perhaps topped on a salad or tossed with some rice. I am making coconut rice tonight and will toss in some roasted beuturntt squash. GREAT question and I am glad you brought it up. I mention portion size in my recipe but I am sure many possibly missed that detail!

  2. Hi Rita,
    Thanks. Congratulations for this wonderful message, from the heart! Eloquent, straightforward, and powerful — your words will inspire many, I’m sure.
    Robbie

  3. Hi When I think about fostering a child, I think about how difficult it must be to open your heart and your home to a total stranger and yet that stranger is a child. A little person in need. I can’t foster a child right now, but I do like to help out within our community to make sure that I’m living a life of giving back, like the diaper drive. I love who you are and what you stand for and look forward to supporting you while learning from your giant heart!

    Debbie

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Yes, it can hard for both the child and the family, both desperately wanting it to go well and to feel good about it all. Kids are resilient, thank god! But, they are stressed and need time to adjust. ALL they want is to be loved and cared about! I really appreciate your support Debbie…I admire all you do as a go-giver and making a huge difference in your community! We can all learn from you….the diaper drive was an amazing way to give back…to those in need:) Thank you so much for being my friend and someone who supports me and ALL kids!!

  4. Yvonne Hall says:

    As you know I’m so supportive of spreading the word but just feel like I can’t personally foster at this overwhelming time in my life … this is an internal struggle for me though. About 9 years ago I applied for a job as a Fost-Adopt community liaison with Vista del Mar. For whatever reason that was not the place for me at that time in life. But it is the one job that I was really hoping for that I did not get and that haunts me today. I would have been in charge of being a foster advocate in LA county and spreading the word about how it works and signing people up to become foster parents.
    I love your true passion and that by just spreading the word you are getting people talking about the awful state of foster care in this country and I do think that you are making a difference this Foster Care Month and know you will continue to do so next month and the next as well.
    Yvonne Hall
    http://www.yvonneelmhall.wordpress.com

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      As you said, it was not the right place for you at the time…don’t let it haunt you! But I can see how you feel like your being called…again! (we are so alike…lol!) And WHO would be able to say NO to you….they are crazy for not hiring you! Just sayin… But, remember, you have already done so much, and helped me, and we’ve reach more people than expected…in less than 2 months…AND all during an overwhelming time for you personally. That is success woman! Can’t thank you enough for reaching out and spreading the word….people need to know and learn…from people they trust like you and me! Its happening…and baby steps…are better than none! Together we will make a difference…for ALL the kids! Thank you Yvonne….I am so grateful…and honored to call you my friend:)

  5. I wish I had the energy and the time to help right now. My father in law fostered for a while and found it heart breaking to have to let these kids go back to less than great family situations. This was especially after they fostered a little boy for almost a year while his mum was in jail. I don’t know if I could cope with that turmoil. However, I would love to help you spread the word Rita as you are such an amazing advocate for these kids. Love you for it.
    Louise Edington
    Fearless For Freedom
    http://louiseedington.com

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      I totally understand…not everyone has the time or ability to actually house and foster…but as you said getting the word out and increasing awareness is just as important! So many people are misinformed, have heard horror stories, or think they are not “qualified”. They have no idea its Fostercare Awareness Month! Demystifying and getting the truth out there is the only way we will grow the foster community for ALL the kids. I love and appreciate you for helping me spread the word (cause you are very connected – woot!) and it means a lot to me (and the kids)!!! Thank you Louise! Hugs:)

      • Bingi says:

        My doctor told me on Friday to use the FODMAP diet to help with IBS, but told me to recsareh it, which is how I found your website. Personally, I think it is unfair to tell me to start something complicated (his word) and give me no info.I know I need to be lactose free, gluten free and frucose free. I looked at labels in the supermarket today and am comfused of what buzzwords I need to look for. For example: Gelato (on the low fodmap list) says it has milk; Lara bars are gluten free but have sugar. Please tell me what ingredients I need stay away from.Thank you in advance for any help with this.

      • I can’t believe you’re not playing with me–that was so helpful.

  6. You are truly a crusader, Rita, and one with a big heart. Your voice is strong and i know will be heard increasingly…especially with the support of our community. For some reason, my life has not been directly touched by foster care, but I do have a very close friend who is the mentor of a foster child and has been for years. She has made me so aware of the process and how tough it is for kids…and how great the need is. It has been an education that is continuing through you–for which I am grateful. I will defintely do what I can to help you get this message out via the internet. Carry on, impassioned one, knowing you have support!

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      A crusader….wow, thanks Maridel! I try;) There’s so much more to be done….little by little…step by step! Mentoring is a wonderful way to make a difference…and sometimes can be the only “true” connection a child has….happy to hear your friend has touched a life! I will carry on…and really appreciate all your help with getting my message to the masses:)

  7. My cousin has twin daughters with C.P., and when they were little, she fostered a another little kid so they could have a “normal sibling.” Many thought that she was crazy, but I get it – it is the most un-selfish thing that you can do – to foster an innocent child. AND, for her even less selfish because she really had her hands full. Foster children are so LUCKY to have you as an advocate, Rita! I am going to help spread the message. Rachel

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Wow, thats great Rachel! Your cousin rocks! Thanks for your kind words….and helping me get the word out! Really appreciate it!

  8. Pat Zahn says:

    Love your advocacy Rita – I will tweet and share in my FB profile. I didn’t know it was Foster Care awareness month (somehow the news hasn’t mentioned that as much as why Arnold and Maria have separated…) I do think there is a lot of fear associated with the process. If you have had infertility problems and are hoping foster care will lead to adoption, you fear that it might not work out; you worry, as your friend you mention in the video that you won’t be accepted; you worry about the kids themselves – especially if you are bringing them into a home with other kids. I liked the way you addressed that you have the final say who will be placed in your home. I think having more dialog and putting all these fears out on the table will help more people make this decision.

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      HAha, its all about Arnold and Maria…I should have known!

      Yes, lots of fear, and truthfully having to say goodbye is never easy….so for those who struggled its not easy to jump in with the knowledge of that being the end result. HOWEVER, I should have mentioned that there is a possibity (in some states) to sign up and do adoption thru fostercare….meaning you are ONLY available to adopt…and don’t foster first. My friend in CA adpoted 3 beautiful kids this way…so there are options!! Gotta get the word out…so THANK you for tweeting and posting….your awesome!

  9. Molly Perry says:

    Your passion for foster care is so evident, Rita. I’m sure you have indirectly helped many kids find a home, whether it be temporary or permanent. Foster care is a win-win situation for families and kids. Sure makes me think….

  10. Jen Sako says:

    Fostering seems so scary to me, yet so amazing and rewarding. I used to think animals were the most vulnerable creatures on earth, until I had my son. Now I know that children need and deserve the best love and care we can provide. My heart breaks when I hear that a child has been neglected and abused and needs a new family to take care of him. Thank you for bringing this up. I didn’t even know that May was the month for foster care awareness.

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Giving birth does that to you…lol! FC can be scary on many levels, the unknown, what to expect, how long, how do I let go, what if, the list goes on….and on. The good news is that it all works out somehow…with love and laughter…that’s life! Guess I did my job, you now know its Fostercare Awareness Month…..woo-hoo! Please spread the word! Thanks so much Jen;)

  11. Wow, Rita…so love your message! I’ll share your video on my profile :-) I’ve known a few families that provided foster homes, but it was something I heard about after the fact (they did it a decade ago or the kids are now grown and in college). I haven’t met anyone during the time they were helping to raise foster kids. It has me thinking…
    Brandy

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Thank you so much Brandy! Would really appreciate it….getting the word out is key! Your the best;)

  12. Brenda Jones says:

    This is something I still hold in the back of my mind to want to do. I worked in early childhood special education for over a decade before retiring to raise my daughter and any other children we are blessed with. Our home right now is not large enough, but someday I do hope to foster. I am very concerned about the “letting them go” part, but your explanation in your responses above makes me look at things a bit differently. I don’t know if my husband will go for it, but I’m actually hoping we can do this when we are done having our own babies and have the time to devote. I worked with some amazing foster and foster/adopt families in my career and would love to be able to do more. Thank you for being such an incredible advocate and voice for kids who need it.

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Brenda, just thinking about it and being open to it is great! Helping spread the word is much appreciated…as so many people don’t understand the process or the joy that can come of it! Thank you for your kind words and for helping get the word out there!!! Hope one day you will make it happen for you and your family….changing a life…is a wonderful thing! Wishing you all the best.

  13. “Forever Family” struck me in your video. Having adopted two children internationally, I know how important it is to these kids to have a home of their own, a bad of their own, someone somewhere who will love them and provide some joy. I am with you, it’s not that hard and Just Do It! is the way to go. Just pick up a phone, find out information and make a child’s life a little happier, even if it’s not “forever”, they will remember their foster care experience. Very authentic and from the heart.

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      You said it…a home of their own, someone to love them, their own bed! These are things most of us take for granted….including our own kids!!! I think if we could get people to make the call…the fear and mystery would disappear….opening up doors, homes and hearts for more kids everywhere!

  14. You are such a wonderful advocate for these kids, Rita. As I’ve mentioned, I’m in a blended family that includes an internationally adopted child, but I’ve never had a personal encounter with fostering. I so admire people who become foster parents, who are able to give to children without “guarantees,” knowing they will have to “give up” the children.

    In my career I’ve worked with children with disabilities, and I’ve met foster parents who care for children with severe disabilities whose parents just cannot provide the necessary care. Really amazing people!

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    “My cat owns me, my clutter stymies me, my writing frees me. Word maven loves—and learns from—ordinary life.”
    http://www.thereflectivewriter.com/blog/

  15. Donna McCord says:

    Wow, Rita, you are such an inspiration! I will definitely help spread the word through sharing your message/video. It is hard to believe there are so many children looking for foster care…what a sad statement. I know wonderful people that have adopted children and have watched them as they go through the process and then the extreme challenge of making those children feel loved and valued. I see with foster care it is not as difficult to bring a child into your home…it seems as though it would be difficult, though, to have a child for just a short period of time…if you become attached to that child, which I am hoping you would, it seems as though it would be heartwrenching to let them go. In any event, I am much in awe of people like you who have obviously been blessed by God to be His hands and heart for so many needy children. I am keeping you and your efforts, and the efforts of all those who have been called to serve in this way, in my prayers.

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Thank you so much Donna! True, its much harder to do an international adoption (having done both I know…lol)! Letting them go is difficult BUT (you and) they have gained life long connections and they have a loving place to fall…imagine the gift! However, as much as reunification is the goal, MANY times it is not possible and we have thousands of kids aging out (18-21 yrs old) without forever families! Many of these kids go straight to homelessness, literally:(

      • Donna McCord says:

        Oh no! I never would have thought of that! I feel as though if a child lived with me and we bonded, I would want that child in my life forever. But I guess that just is not how it goes? That is tragic.

        • Rita Brennan Freay says:

          I may have confused things….it all depends on the status of the kids/parents/etc. If they lived with you and were bonded and going “home” (reunification) was not an option (happens often) the permanancy plan would be to find a permanent home…which could likely mean yours!! And if for some reason you choose not to “keep” them, as some have to do, they can be adopted by someone else (IF there is someone), and still remain in your life (visits, holidays, etc.) What is sad is that so many kids never find that loving home, a forever family, and age out basically with nobody….becoming homeless….literally!

  16. I love the way you advocate for the many children in foster care. If we could clone you over 1,000 times I think the problem would be solved! You are a strong, passionate, positive voice, Rita. Keep spreading the word. You are making a huge difference in the Foster Care community for many kids you will never meet.

    Susan Berland
    A Picture’s Worth
    http://www.susan-berland.com

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Aww thank Susan…really hoping it inspires someone to make the call and find out more…helping even one more child is SUCCESS! Together we can make it happen…for ALL of the kids;) Appreciate your kind words!

  17. Sunday says:

    Thank you Rita, there just aren’t enough good foster homes out there. I agree, if you are thinking about becoming a foster parent please, please just make the call. You can make a lasting positive impression in the life of a child.

    • Rita Brennan Freay says:

      Just make the call…..maybe that is what I should have called this post…lol! I think if others made the call they’d find out its not as scary or as hard as people think….I’m hoping;) Yes, we really need more good homes….for the kids! Thanks for spreading my word Sunday (I saw you posted it on FB….really appreciate it!!!).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *