Celebrating Moms on Mother’s Day

Joan knew she wanted to be a foster parent as early as junior high school. After marrying her husband, Jim, and having four children of their own, the couple decided to become licensed foster parents in 1989. After 40 years of marriage and nearly 100 foster placements, Joan remains committed to helping vulnerable children, especially those with medical needs.

“Joan has a huge heart for these kiddos! She provides excellent care and takes them to all of their doctor appointments, even to Riley’s, as needed,” Julie Villarreal, Senior Regional Director at The Villages.  “She and her husband, Jim, have been known to modify their home and their vehicles in preparation of taking in, and caring for, these vulnerable children. They are absolute gems!”

Joan, who lives in Crown Point, answers a few questions about her foster parent journey below:

What does being a foster parent look like right now for you?: The last two little boys left us in October 2018, and we’ve only been doing respite care (providing temporary care to a loved one while the primary caregiver has time away).

What’s most rewarding about foster parenting?: For me, it’s caring for children who are medically challenged, especially when we can assist a birth family. Many of these families stay in touch over the years, allowing me to be a resource for them.

What is your best advice for those considering foster parenting?: Stretch yourself! Take a larger sibling group. Take on a child with a physical or emotional disability. You’ll find the blessings are worth it!

Indiana continues to have an increasing need for foster parents. Learn more about how to begin the process here

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