I think we all have missions in this world; our idea is leaving your community better than
when you came here. Some people might be tentative, wondering what they might be getting
into, but you find out that it’s all about the kids. The kids don’t ask for these issues, either,
that’s really key. You need to have patience and love and that’s free.
We still stay in touch whether it be by phone or e-mail. Many times they will contact us with
information about having a baby or a wedding. I think they remember the good times. They
say things like ‘we wouldn’t be where we are today without you.’
Jeanie and Ron
Licensed since 1977 and have helped more than 250 children
Foster Care has worked wonderful for our family. My husband and I started in foster care 4 years ago with the idea that “we may decide to adopt children but for now Foster Care is what we will do.” Four years later we have grown to a family of SIX ! We have adopted four children that came to us thru Foster Care. Not only have we changed their lives but they have changed ours also. Foster Care is a wonderful fulfilling program that benefits everyone involved.
Bryce and Heather
Licensed since 2010
Foster parenting is a challenging but very rewarding way to help children and families. All children deserve to have safe and loving family, but in today’s world so many children are finding themselves being placed in the care of others. Being a foster parent is a wonderful way to give to your community, to help a child in need and to give a bit of yourself to others. Children in foster care aren’t looking for perfection, but rather protection. When you give love and respect to a child in foster care you could make the difference in helping a child while they are going through a very difficult time in their life.
Licensed since 2002
When most people think of a gift, it's usually something they've longed for, something that's been on a wish list for a while and it comes in a box wrapped in pretty paper with a big bow on top. When you receive this gift, it brings the smile to your face. It's the excitement and anticipation of what's in the box...even if you already know, you can't help but smile. What if instead of a box wrapped in pretty paper with a bow...your gift, is the gift of chance, opportunity and purpose. You can be all these things to a child in need by opening your heart and your home. The beauty of being a foster family is that you become these things to a child. You take a chance on the unknown, you give hope by opening the doors of opportunity and you give purpose to that child by a simple little thing we call LOVE.
Being a foster family has been quite the journey for our family. Life is a journey.....we may not always know where we're going or where we may end up. Along the way well have bumps, curves, twists, turns and we may even get stuck in the mud a time or two. As long as our family is together we can get through whatever comes our way and it's very important to remember...mud washes out!!!!!! We encourage you to take a chance and have a foster child(ren) become a part of your life's journey. There is no greater gift than giving the gift of purpose to a child.
LOVE is a beautiful thing and it should be shared.
The story of our gift:
As foster parents you wait for the call telling you there's a child needing to be placed. For our family we've never specified boy/girl etc. Well, we got a call one evening to pick up a baby who had been abandoned. With that being said we picked the baby up...baby was a boy but that's all we knew. No name!!!!! No nothing!!!!!! As time went on our family started calling him "Bear." We adopted him and two years later, his nickname is still "Bear." Funny thing is, when he talks and laughs there's a bit of a roar behind it.
Shaun & Penny Jo
Licensed since 2013
The opportunity to be part of the foster/adopt program came to us without actively seeking the occasion. We were blessed to bring our son’s sister into our home as a toddler. We couldn’t have passed on the prospect to keep these 2 together – as that is what family does. We worked with Richland County, our local county providers and AASK in a process that was seamless for us. We were able to license as foster parents so she could be in our home, even before the adoption process was complete. This statement by our son will stay with me forever; “Mommy, I had a dream I had a baby sister, and my dream came true."
Terri & Cheryl, adopted a biological sister of their adopted son
It has always been my goal to get married and adopt a kiddo who may not have had a good role model in their life either. I am married with two biological children with my husband, and I continued to feel that I need to adopt a child and make a different in the child’s life, but also make a difference in my life. We started the process with AASK roughly a year and a half ago and we have an approved home assessment. We’ve also been foster parents for the last 9 months. We have had a couple foster children in and out of our home and there have been difficult times, wonderful times, trying times, and the most amazing times in the world. Now, we have a foster child who will be staying with us forever. My heart is full and I am so in love with my future son. He was my missing piece and he has full filled my life and my family’s life. He is a teenager who has never had a positive role model in his life. The other day he told my husband that he too, can’t believe that he finally has a family. I cannot wait until our adoption finalization this fall to make us a legal forever family! !
I’ve always wanted a big family, and when my wife
and I were unable to conceive more children naturally, our
next thought was to look into adoption from foster care. We are very
grateful and blessed to have our biological daughter, but we still wanted
a big family. My wife and I started the adoption process with AASK almost two
years ago. Our adoption worker advised us to be foster parents for a number of
reasons, but mainly because we wanted a child who was younger than our 5 year
old daughter (We felt she was a natural older sister). Three months after we became
foster parents, we received a call about a 5 month old girl who needed a foster home.
My wife and I said a quick prayer, and told the social worker that we can be foster
parents to this little girl. We fell in love instantly! We wanted to make her officially
part of our family right away, but we understood that the county social worker
needed to do her job and reunification with the birth parents were the main
goal. After a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of prayers, a lot of love in our
home, we will finally be finalizing the adoption of our little girl
(who is 13 months old) next month. We are a perfect family
of four and we are so in love. The next step you ask?
'Talking' my wife into adopting another kiddo
through the AASK program.
Wish me luck!
Our four children were all graduated and left home. We had the space and when we were approached with the opportunity it seemed a natural thing to do.
The need has continued. Our first 17 years was with Lutheran Social Services caring for unaccompanied minors. They taught us much about their culture and people. After 9/11 the unaccompanied minors program was then discontinued (many immigration programs were suspended for a time). We began to service children with Cass County.
I was working for the Fargo Public Schools and enjoyed helping the children with their language and homework. My husband passed away in 2006, I continued to care for children.
You need to not only care about children but also to love them. They come scared and confused. They need patience and structure at the same time. The rules should be clear right away. To remain consistent as you gradually blend them into the family.
Reunification is the goal. It is important the children feel that foster care is temporary. Of course every placement is different and delicate. I try to get to know the kids and a little of the background and guide them forward with as little stress as possible.
Marian, known as ‘grandma’
Licensed since 1979 and has helped more than 300 children