Positives of being a foster parent.... well to be truthful I don't even know where to begin. There are honestly so many! I have been a foster mom for over 2 years and have definitely had more positives than negative. I guess my first would be the blessing it is to watch my kids love these children and want to be so involved in helping them grow. Being able to love these foster children is honestly the best feeling ever. When you go to visit to pick them up and they are excited to see you... melts your heart. Not that you don't want them to love their parents but you know that you have made a positive impact on their life. Another would be that I know God put me here to help others, and what a perfect place to help so many. A big positive in foster care is being able to maintain a relationship after they go home. It is amazing when they want to come back and spend time with you or you get a text on Mother's Day saying that they miss you. Getting to be involved in so many children's life's that truly need some positive is the best job ever!!

- Maghan Osborne

Being a foster parent creates relationships that last a lifetime. It has been so rewarding to opening up my home and to give children love and affection. Most of these kids have never gotten anything in life and to watch the joy that comes on their face when they are given a gift or taken on vacation excites me just as much as it does them. It's a great feeling to know you have been able to make a child happy. Foster homes go through intense qualification process to prepare their homes and to ensure they are able to provide a safe place for the kids to be while the birth family is trying to improve their lives so that the kids can have a safe place to return back home.

- Leslie Phelps

Our time as foster parents has been life changing and has brought 5 amazing children into our hearts whom we would have never known otherwise.  While there have been struggles with adjusting behaviors and emotions, grieving, and learning curves for the whole family, there has also been moments of pure joy and blessed reassurance as we have watched these little wonders grow and change over the last 28 months.  We were able to adopt the first children who were placed with us in March 2018 and are currently working through the adoption process for the children of our second placement.  We are over joyed with our growing family and admire all the hard work and dedication of the Social workers we have been blessed with.

- Ashley Haycraft

Foster care, at its core, is a bridge. Back to the birth family, or on to a forever family. As foster parents, we have the incredible power to improve and impact the children's lives and the birth parents lives, even if only for a short time. People often say "I couldn't foster because I'd become too attached." That is the very reason why I am a foster parent; because every foster child deserves a foster parent whose heart will break when they leave, because they've experienced true bonding and attachment.

- Rita Hedges

When my husband and I started looking into Foster Parenting, we were worried that we would not be able to care for a foster child and then have to give them back. After much prayer and discussion, we decided to go ahead to foster to adopt and hoped that we were making the right decision. We were totally unprepared for the joy and many blessings we have received as Foster Parents.  These last years have definitely been a leap of faith and sometimes difficult decisions but the joy and great love we have received is enormous. Fostering is the greatest decision we have ever made and the question of not being able to "give them back" should be changed to "why not be a Foster Parent because every child needs to be loved."

- Jason and Laura Mattingly

Being a foster parent is an amazing journey that is God sent. At times things are crazy, hectic, and seem like a tornado, but it's an amazing experience to see the many lives you and your family can touch just by being there for other families. Your entire immediate and extended family are able to be blessed with the love and affection you are able to exchange with other families in need.

- Kevin Lowe

We have been foster parents for a little over 5 years. It has been an amazing journey.  To watch the transformation of a scared quiet child become happy and thriving is wonderful. I feel like we are the safe loving place to fall for foster children. Some children have never had a birthday party, gone on vacation or played sports , so to watch the excitement when they experience these things is amazing. My children have learned to be more loving and giving of more than just family since we have started this journey. We love kids and have a lot of love to give and being a foster parent is a perfect way to give back.

- Jennifer Payne

Foster parenting feels like a normal part of my life.   I want these kids to feel safe, secure, trust, happiness, normalcy and love when they come to my home, and in return it is heartwarming, rewarding, humorous, loving and at times heartbreaking, but knowing I can make a difference is the best feeling ever.

- Jaynie Turner

Fostering is the ultimate labor of selfless love.  Our family's foster care journey has allowed us to love on families that we may have never known and for that we are thankful.  Loving others is what we are all called to do, and for us the rewards for stepping out in love far outweigh the challenges.   Providing opportunities for children to grow in healthy ways, feel safe and stable, and understand the meaning of hope and support has given us, as a foster family, an opportunity to grow in those areas as well.    Fostering comes from the heart and changes everyone's lives

- Melanie Duckwall

I knew in the years of my early adulthood that I wanted to have a family of my own but my career and educational pursuits kept me running at a breakneck pace. Eventually, I finished my degree and continued advancing my career working with adults with disabilities.  I climbed the ladder one rung at a time and wound up landing facility-level, then regional-level, and state-level positions.  With each step up the ladder, I found myself further and further from the fulfillment that I experienced by working directly with those who needed me.  I decided upon a career change at the age of 30 and began pursuing my teaching degree. 
Long about my second year teaching, I came to meet a young man who would eventually become my son.  He was a pistol, hard to handle, but had a smile that would melt your heart.  Unfortunately, during the first few years of having him for a student, I learned that he bounced in an out of the foster care system; sometimes, I would find/hear things that also required me to make that report - knowing full well that I may never see him again - then he'd just show up again.  Due to a death in the family, he and his brother were placed in the foster care system and they had a lot of special needs so finding a family wasn't easy.  I decided, during that time, that I felt led to pursue a life of fostering/adopting. 
I could tie this up in a pretty bow, but to do so I'd have to gloss over the difficulties that are inherent to the role of foster parent.  The truth is, I was scared at times; other times, I was frustrated or heartbroken. Birth parents will miss their visits, sometimes they cancel them outright and other times, you sit in the lobby waiting for them to arrive before they call.  Other times, they show up religiously, while you try to schedule something to "keep you busy" while they are visiting. It was never easy when kiddos left. Sometimes I wondered if I'd ever recover when "MY" children left to go back to their birth family/members.  Oh, but there were those good times: being called "Pops" by the kids, Christmas mornings, birthday parties. The moments of clarity that washed over me in waves: I was a parent! "Please, let me introduce my sons!"  Picture days.Family vacations. The "good stuff".
While fostering does come with its ups and downs, I'd do it all over again!  I became a father by fostering.  Over the years, we've fostered ten kiddos and adopted four.  It is hard to believe as I reflect back.  Each soul in my home changed my heart, and I like to think I changed theirs some too.  I've tried to remember that I need to balance my role as a foster parent, understanding that I'm there to help the child (and hopefully his/her family) to work better together.  I'm a firm believer that one can't waste love, and there were many times that I had to fall back on that principle - even when it hurt.  Is any of this any different than raising your own child? A stepchild? Not really, each child comes with his/her own set of "anything except instructions".  If you're considering fostering, my advice is to take the first step and start working toward it! You'll never know how rewarding and challenging your road will be until you are on it!

- Brian Lovell

I really enjoy being a foster mother. I love knowing that my husband and I are able to provide a safe, stable environment for children, which is something they may have never had. While there are challenges, there are many "wins". There are big and small "wins", but in the end they help a child grow. My favorite part is seeing the babies we have had grow and learn new things. It's so rewarding to know you have helped raise a healthy child.

- Sean & Nicole Lowe

Cliff and I started our foster parent journey when God spoke to our hearts and told us we were in need of some big changes in our lives.  This journey has taught us unconditional love and acceptance, caring enough to hang in there when things get really tough, a sense of belonging to family, and lots of patience!  We have loved and cherished every child that we have welcomed in to our home and know that they give us so much more than we can ever give them.  People often say, `This child is blessed to have us.' I simply say, `No, if they were blessed, they would have their mom and dad tucking them in bed every night at home. The real truth is that we are blessed to have them and we will love them forever regardless of how long they stay in our home!'  This journey has forever changed our lives!  Through all the laughter and tears, we continue to be blessed and hope to continue our journey.

- Penny Davis

Being a foster parent has been such a positive experience for my family.  Being a foster parent certainly has its share of difficulties, just as any other adventure that you may undertake, but there's no better reward than knowing you made a difference in the life of a child.  We have been able to be a bonus family to some of the brightest, sweetest, most loving, most wonderful children you would ever meet.  When I think of all of the children we have fostered, I think to myself at times how sad my life would have been without having them in it, and it makes me so thankful we opened up our home as foster parents.  As a foster parent, you will touch the lives of a child when they are going through one of the most difficult experiences of their life.  Your love, care, and security, even if only temporary, can make a lifelong difference for the future of a child, and in return, you are sure to gain lots of hugs and make many special memories.  

- Jolie Chandler

Foster parenting is a very difficult thing to do but when you have one of your former children come back home or call it makes it all worth it!!!

- Joy Wilson

Fostering has been both the most challenging and most rewarding endeavor that I have ever undertaken. In a time filled with sadness (the challenge), it gives one the unique opportunity to offer happiness and love to another, who may not ever get the chance to experience it otherwise (the reward).

- Brendan McGinnis

Foster care was a calling not a choice. It's a joy and an honor to have said `yes'. Welcome to my silly life!

- Melloney Simerly

Never did we know the hardest thing we would ever do would also be the most rewarding. If you don't get attached, you're doing it wrong.

- Lindsay Phelps

Fostering has filled our home with children, laughter, and happiness!!  It's an honor to be a part of the girls lives!!

- Angie Carter

Being a foster parent is never easy, but it is always blessed and always worth it.

- Krystal Bradford

Expect the unexpected. Kids will act like they have come out of a war zone because to them they did. Foster love is being willing to do what it takes to meet every kind of need they have. There is nothing more rewarding than to see your investment in a child pay off in their emotional, physical, spiritual and social life.

- Jana Hightower