The rewards of foster parenting – #OurVillagesFamily

Charles Brown, foster parent, The Villages
I received a call from the principal on the last day of school, exclaiming, “He is terrorizing the school, you have to come get him!”

I hadn’t even met the child she was referring to yet, but I had already made a commitment that this 13 year old was going to be a part of my life and I was going to be his foster parent. I said okay and got in my car and drove to the school to pick him up that day. I remember staring back, in my rearview mirror, at this unfamiliar face and the feeling of uncertainty about our future…his future. His future was meant to be bright, and two years later, my 15 year old was an honor roll student, on the school basketball team and no longer a ‘terror’ to the school.

I had a part in that; I had an image of this child’s potential and that kept me motivated! To this day, the potential I see in all the children I foster continues to keep me motivated to be a foster parent. Children have feelings and emotions and are reactionary sometimes, but I’ve learned to give them the benefit of the doubt like I would want someone to do for me. I have to remain self-aware and lead by example and hold myself accountable, just like I expect of them. Children want to be loved and that can be in many different ways. It is my job to figure out how to provide that love for each of them.

If you are considering becoming a foster parent, my advice would be to know yourself first, so that you can know what you can and can’t handle as a foster parent. Pray about your decision to become a foster parent and seek support from those most important to you in your life like your family and friends. I began my foster parent journey at age 22 and now, at 47, I am still committed to impacting the lives of youth in my community.

Thousands of Hoosier children are in need of loving homes. Join Charles’ efforts to impact the lives of youth by becoming a foster parent. Contact The Villages today to begin your journey.

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