Lucky 13

A story about Foster Parenting

For 10-year old Jack, there’s nothing unlucky about the number 13.

Prior to living in a foster home, Jack lived with 12 other families.  Now, for the past two years, he’s found a real home with a foster family and their four biological children, plus one other foster child they have since adopted.

Home.  Stability.  Security.

For children like Jack, the everyday loving care and attention that most children receive is a novelty.  Often in need of specialized services and behavioral programs, children in treatment foster care can have learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and emotional difficulties.

Caring for these children is a challenge Tom and Linda enjoy.  In the two years they’ve shared with Jack, the they have seen him grow much more independent.

“When he arrived, he was not at all age-appropriate.  He was way behind his grade level,” Linda said.  “Now he’s on target.  I get my satisfaction from seeing the positive changes and growth in Jack.  He’s learned a lot from his siblings.  He’s been able to observe with his own eyes how loving a family can be.”

Indeed, seeing Jack make progress is the ultimate reward for the challenging work and extra time that she and her family put in.

“Caring for foster children is challenging,” Linda noted.  “It takes a lot of learning on the part of the parents.  My husband and I do a lot of reading and ongoing training through Aunt Martha’s to work with special needs kids.”

“Kids need a lot more than just love and understanding,” she added.  “It’s a misconception that you just have to give a child enough love and everything will work out fine.  In and of itself, love and attention is not what helps them grow and become an independent and responsible part of society.  The consistency and structure that Jack receives through our family is very important to his success.”

Aunt Martha’s 2000