Thank You

As we reflect on our journey as foster parents, we heard a litany of words, phrases, lectures even, but rarely… just once… thank you.  If you work in the world of foster care, we would imagine you experience those words even less.  Just like all of you, we didn’t enter the world of foster care for gratitude or accolades.  We began our journey with a calling to make a difference in the life of a child, to change their lifetime.  We didn’t expect a thank you.  But we would have appreciated it.  We are determined your journey will begin or continue with our thanks and admiration.  So… Thank You.

To the foster parents...

Thank you for JUMPING THROUGH HOOPS, filling out mountains of paperwork, sitting through endless interviews and countless hours of training, allowing agencies to scrutinize every memory, experience, thought, perspective, and intent, and pour over financial statements, in order to save receipts, maintain secure files, and complete logs, continue training hours in your spare time, collect more paperwork such as medical records, school reports, therapy logs and so on, so you can change the life of a child.

Thank you for OPENING YOUR HOME TO A STRANGER, at any time day or night, not knowing anything about them or what they will do to your family dynamic, adapting your lives, sharing traditions, learning what they like and don’t like, staying awake for countless nights for weeks and months, wading through unfounded accusations that grieve your heart, absorbing and digesting their hurt and disclosures, not to mention opening the same door to agency and court workers at their discretion, so you can change the life of a child.

Thank you for PUTTING THE NEEDS OF A CHILD FIRST, as you comfort their grief, console their hearts, police their choices, transport their beings, battle trauma, advocate with schools, seek doctors and medical care, coordinate with social workers and therapies, become friendly with probation officers, navigate and attend court, defend them to neighbors, friends, and family, go the extra mile, supplement the insignificant reimbursement, tutor and coach their achievements, model family as it can be, so you can change the life of a child.

Thank you for SHARING YOUR LOVE, HOPE AND FAITH, cherishing their laughter and empathizing with their tears, accepting their blame when it’s not yours, celebrating their growth and supporting their challenges, being thankful for the small moments, comforting their fears and listening to their woes, respecting their dreams and helping them achieve them, smiling with them and making every day the best it could be, so you can change the life of a child.

To our foster care teams...

Thank you for DOING THE WORK, diligently completing forests of paperwork, patiently sitting through endless interviews and family team meetings, training for hours, gently considering every thought and word shared, monitoring homes so children are safe, organizing supports and resources, answering countless emails, phone calls, and text messages, so you can change the life of a child.

Thank you for BEING THERE, as you comfort grieving children and their families, watch visits as families try to put themselves back together, share resources with families who have little, advocate with schools, doctors, and insurance companies, defend children and families in court, and recognize when families need additional support and a kind word, so you can change the life of a child.

Thank you for PURSUING YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS, looking for and celebrating good, navigating the bad and ugly, standing strong in the face of threats and anger as a family is torn apart, standing on the sidelines and celebrating child and family growth as families are rebuilt, and supporting children and families in any way you can, so you can change the life of a child.

Some of our children come into our lives for a short time, some come and stay forever.  No matter how temporary their time with you is, the love and lessons last a lifetime.  You will change the life of a child.  And they are worth it.  THANK YOU!

Most Sincerely,

From whoever directed you to this page
and Jason and Nikki Bays

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