By: Deirdre Littlefield
Six years ago, I quietly started my training to become a foster and adoptive parent. It seemed an unusual decision to my close friends, but they supported me through it anyway. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but knew inside it would change some of my favorite relationships.
What I didn’t know is how much I would gain. From the very first placement, my community has rallied around my family and any of the children who have come into our home. We have received everything you can imagine for kids in foster care: baby swings, dolls, winter jackets, swim suits, boots, iPads, and North Face jackets. I could go on; but the point is that each child left my home feeling valued by a community they never knew existed.
My goal in fostering has always been to show a child that there is such a thing as a harmonious home that values loving relationships. I just want them to know that one day if they want peace it’s out there. My community has magnified that goal immensely. Children in foster care often feel isolated and stigmatized. You all have shown them that they are worthy and it’s okay to reach beyond the walls of your home to find connection and help. Our community has shown them their value and given them something to hope for.
I am humbled every year as the emergency backpack drive gets underway. I am so extremely thankful to the friends, neighbors, and family who have taken my cause as their own. I am so touched that both of my older sons’ sports teams and coaches have reached out and want to contribute.
My holiday wish for you all is to know that your contributions to children living in foster care is truly immeasurable and sincerely everlasting.