Audrey was 17 when she came into foster care with her three younger siblings. They had self-reported their abuse over and over again without anyone believing their claims.
One day, someone finally heard them, believed them, and rescued them. Audrey had been brave for her siblings as she stood between them and their abusers for several years, but the time for their freedom had finally come.
When they were rescued, Audrey and her three siblings were able to stay together thanks to Matt & Farrah – a Hope & Home foster family. In fact, they were the only foster family in the entire state of Colorado that could keep all four kids together.
Watch the video below to hear about Audrey’s story along with what her foster parents, together with Hope & Home, did to reclaim and redeem part of her past!
Why Don’t People Want to Foster Teens?
Throughout my years of experience as the Executive Director of Hope & Home, most foster parents come to Hope & Home because they want a baby and don’t even consider fostering teens. There are two key reasons for this disinterest – they either have never had a baby before, and/or they have fears about fostering teens.
As a parent of two daughters myself, I GET why someone who is unable to have a baby would have their sights set on the 0-1 age range. They want to enjoy the whole process of coming home from the hospital with a new baby, squeezing those adorable, tiny fingers and toes, and experiencing that feeling of a little human depending on your for everything.
They want to experience the sleepless nights, the first smile, the tiny clothes, baby bottles, etc. I would never want anyone to miss out on that.
Here at Hope & Home, we get it. We understand and we support it. If that is you, we are going to do everything we can to help you get that baby you’ve always dreamt of.
But babies are not the only kids out there! At Hope & Home we get calls for children who’ve come straight from the hospital all the way to teenagers who have spent years parenting their younger siblings because their mom and dad won’t take on the responsibility.
After that kind of trauma, you can only imagine how important it would be for that teenager to not be split up from their brothers and sisters.
Imagine if you were a 14-year-old girl with two younger siblings who were six months old and three years old. You had finally reached an adult who believed your reports of abuse and neglect. This person was going to save you and your siblings!
The only problem? They can’t find a home for you with your siblings – simply because of your age. You were, yet again, unwanted, unloved, and even worse, split from those you loved.
You were sent to a group home, not because of behaviors, but because of one thing – you were a teenager.
Amazing Kids, Different Experiences
You see, the kids at Hope & Home are amazing kids, but they haven’t had the same experiences as you and I.
They, most likely, didn’t have the opportunity to play sports, have birthday parties or celebrate Christmas. They probably have never had someone teach them how valuable, precious and cherished they are.
Some of my favorite memories throughout my time serving kids have involved teens and experiencing different moments in their life. It is amazing to watch them grow and develop as pre-adults and get a glimpse into what their personality will be like down the road.
One foster dad told me about his experience with fostering teens recently.
His foster daughter was getting ready for her first date and when the young man arrived to pick her up, he was out in his car honking the horn, texting her, and telling her to come outside. This foster dad took the opportunity to send a message to his daughter.
He kindly said, “Please let him know that a young man comes inside the house to get a woman for a date…” He then proceeded to have a conversation with the young man explaining how precious and cherished his daughter was and how she is to be respected and treated.
Do you think his foster daughter had ever heard those things said about her before? He took an opportunity to show her the value that she has!
“You may not have been there in the delivery room, but you get to be with them for so many special moments”
There are so many experiences and opportunities for parents who are fostering teens to love, teach and help show a teen that they are loved and special.
You may not have been there in the delivery room, but you get to give them their first Christmas, birthday celebration, graduation party, first dance and more.
As someone who is fostering teens, you are creating memories and making up for lost time. That is truly precious and infinitely special.
Now, if you are reading this and you are thinking “but I DO want that baby experience” there is nothing wrong with that and we want to help you reach that goal. But don’t stop there. Consider fostering a teen as well.
To schedule a tour of Hope & Home and to learn more about becoming a foster parent, contact us today!