November is National Adoption Month and I reached out to a few people to get real, raw stories to share with you all. I’m truly appreciative of those who were willing to open up with me and allow their unique experiences be shared. Although, Amanda has not officially adopted, her role as a foster parent, a single foster parent, is one that is called on by God to help fill in the gaps of children in foster care. If fostering is something you’ve considered, here is your affirmation from Amanda.
Is fostering children something you always wanted to do? Yes! I’ve always known I wanted to do it! My mom was a foster mom when I was growing up and I knew I would one day do it too. I have been struggling with infertility (all my life apparently but the initial diagnosis came in 2015). I decided then as a single woman to do it.
What a leap of faith! Being a single parent is hard work and chosing to step up and foster shows your dedication and your commitment to God’s calling.
I know that fostering must come with many struggles for both you and the children, what has been your hardest battle that you’ve overcome or maybe even still learning? Wow! Well I think the hardest thing was losing my last foster daughter. She had been with me almost 8 months and she was only 15 months old when she came to us. I had an immediate, undeniable bond with her. I was told that she and her brother were going for tpr and there wasn’t any family qualified to take them. BUT then grandmother came and was approved and she was taken from foster care into kinship. I went from thinking I was adopting this child to not even having her in my home in one court hearing. It was a shocker!! However, through the bonds that I attempt to make with the children’s families – I now have a relationship with the family enough that they let me keep her (and her brother) over the weekend sometimes when grandma needs a break! So I have learned to love them while you have them and always make an attempt to make bonds with the families. You need them as much as they need you!
Fostering alone indefinitely supercedes struggles or battles alone because what you are doing is the work of an angel. Those children need you and you’ve taken leaps and bounds selflessly to meet the needs of your children! And as fostering is a priceless reward in itself, can you tell us about a moment that has made your heart grow in size and makes everything worth being a Foster Parent? I can sum it up in pictures better than I could words. But when a child reaches for you, or smiles at you knowing they are safe with you, or even hearing a child say “I’m glad we’re home” after a long day at school or work or errands makes it all worth it! Giving them a place to live and love and be loved, is why I do this! It’s the little things in daily life that make me appreciate the extreme gift all these children are to me!
To anyone who may be contemplating and researching the idea behind fostering, what advice could you give someone who probably has doubts and fears but knows in their heart, this is what they are called to do? Heartfelt Calling, Care2foster, and so many more agencies and nonprofits in South Carolina that help fostering, have really been a huge aid for me and my journey! For anyone contemplating their ability to foster- I would say… yes it hurts! Yes it’s hard! But we are adults- and we can overcome heartache much better than these young people who are already going through at least the trauma of being removed- usually more trauma than that though. A little hurt for me when they move on, or struggle with emotions or behaviors while in my home- is worth every minute of time they aren’t out there fending for themselves or struggling to survive elsewhere! If you think it will be hard on your heart and you just can’t do it- you’d probably make an amazing foster parent! Because if you don’t hurt when they leave or face struggles- you weren’t doing it right!
Cue the crocodile tears, y’all! How beautiful it is that these children have someone they can trust!?! Amanda’s story is truly unique and she cuts it straight to the point on what it’s like, how to get started and how to cope with emotions. She stepped up on her own to do what she was called to do and is doing it as seamlessly as possible.
If fostering is something you’ve been considering, here is the information from the help Amanda shared with us. She also informed me that if you can’t foster, you can help by donating clothing, toys, etc at your local county dss to the foster care closet. You can also sign up as a respite foster parent, who watches the children when the foster parent has an emergency or vacation. I also added a link on my Facebook Page that you can go to and sign up to donate to foster children’s Christmas wish list this holiday season.
Thank you, Amanda for giving hope and love to all who need it the most! Your work in invaluable and rewarded with pure, innocent love!
Soda City Mom, Ashley J