May is National Foster Care Month, and is focused on “the building blocks toward building permanent families.”
Why is foster care important? Why should you become a foster parent?
Local residents Cathy and Chuck Mobley and daughter Jenessa Mobley recently shared what it means to them:
Why I became a foster parent
Well to start off, I (Cathy) was a foster child from the age of 2 1/2 years old until I was 14. I was blessed with wonderful foster parents, my aunt and uncle. They raised me to be a responsible and respectful adult. I see how they helped me, so I wanted to help children like I was helped.
My husband and I became foster parents in April of 2004. We have two children, Samantha who is 26 and Benjamin who is 18. We have adopted six children over the years. Our first adoption was Paytin. He was only 2 days old when we got him, but he is 7 years old now. Our second adoption was Devin. He was 18 months when we got him; he is 8 years old now. Our third adoption was Matthew. He was 16 1/2 when we got him and he was 18 when he became adopted. Our fourth adoption was Jenessa. She was 12 years old; she is 16 now. And the last of our adoptions was Noah, who was 4 when he came to us but is now 8, and Dash who was 2 when he came to us but is now 5.
Yes, that is a lot of children but we love them all! People ask why we do foster care and I tell them; we wanted to help the children and their biological families. We also wanted more children but we couldn’t have any more ourselves. Yes fostering is a hard job! Parenting itself is the hardest job that you will ever have but it’s also the most rewarding.
These children come to us for many different reasons, and the children are just as scared as we are when they first come into our home. They don’t know us and our house routine, it takes about two weeks for them to get fully settled. Now some of these children have medical issues and most of them have emotional issues as well. We also get the question, “How do you deal with the parents?” and I tell them it’s like this, everybody makes mistakes and you have to put that aside. I try to help the parents out and support them as much as possible. I look at it this way: it’s best to get along with them and try to help them. It helps the children out too, and I want to build a relationship with the parents so if the children go home I can help them out if they need it. Sometimes they just need to know someone is there for them. But sometimes you have to think, if there weren’t people like us doing foster care, then those children would be the ones in the middle of all the hurt and abuse, mentally and physically.
Another question is “How do you let them go home, I would get too attached?” And believe me, yes you do! But you learn to let it go, it may break your heart but it’s what is best for the child. All children belong with their biological families, but we love them as our own. Trust me I am very blessed to have all of my children but I wish for their sake they could be with their biological families.
So if you are thinking about becoming a foster parent please open your home and heart up to these children who need a loving house and loving hearts. It’s the most wonderful, rewarding, loving, stressful, sad, job you will ever have!
Remember these children need loving and caring people to take care of them!
Cathy & Chuck Mobley
Why foster parents are important
When I was 8, I went into foster care. At first I didn’t know why or how, all knew was that I would be with people that I didn’t know and they didn’t know me. It was hard my first few years. I wouldn’t listen, I got into fights, I did whatever I wanted, and I had a very bad attitude.
But when I was 12 years old I went to live with my parents, Chuck and Cathy. They literally turned my life around.
I went to live with them at the end of my 6th grade school year. I didn’t know anyone there other than my little brother Devin who was previously adopted. I walked in and everyone was sitting in the living room; I was a little overwhelmed. They sat me down and told me why I was placed with them. They talked to me like we were old friends and they always had a smile on their face. I didn’t understand their rules or the way they ran things at first, but once I got settled in and I was there for about a month, I picked it up. Their house was very different from my biological family and all of the other foster homes I was in before. They had rules and curfews, which were all new to me. I hated it at first, but I finally understood why they did those things. They were only trying to help and protect me.
My parents are my world. They were all I had through all the things that were happening between me and my biological family. They have taught me, helped me, given my guidance, and taught me to chase my dreams and that I could do anything I set my mind to. My biological mother almost never gave me or Devin attention. I had to watch him all the time because she was either in her room or out at late hours and she would always come home with a new man.
Now I have stability and guidance in the right direction.
My mother and I have a great bond and I can talk to her about anything. I could go on and on about my parents!
If you ever have the chance to become a foster parent, I would highly recommend it. It changed my life and it could change so many others too!