A family looks at fostering and decides to focus on the older youth. Here is a response on the need Arizona has for older youth and foster homes:
Every Tuesday, millions of Americans tune in to watch the Pearson family on NBC’s hit show, “This is Us”. We laugh, we cry and question “why” alongside this family. For those of us who are deep in the trenches of foster care and adoption, Randall and Beth’s life may seem all too relatable.
To bring you up to speed: Randall, an African American man abandoned at birth by his drug-addicted parents, was adopted by Caucasian parents. His emotional battle between the loyalty he feels for his adoptive parents and the longing to know his biological parents is well portrayed throughout the first and second seasons. To live out the legacy of both of his fathers, Randall and his wife, Beth, decided to become foster parents. Here’s the best part- they decided to go all in and bring in an older child. (Cue the tears and pass the Kleenex!)
I was skeptical that the writers of “This is Us” could get this right. Foster care is so complex. There are so many emotions, uncontrollable circumstances, trauma, and joy. To my surprise, the writers must have written this without wearing rose-colored glasses. They got it right and they didn’t skip over the hard stuff. The anxiety while they waited for their first placement, the trauma the child experienced, and her behaviors were all heart wrenching and familiar. Deja, their 12-year-old foster daughter, experienced more in her young life than many of us ever will and it showed. It showed in her reactions towards men, her mistrust of adults, and even physical reactions as her hair fell out in clumps due to stress. We see the Pearson family navigate through tough situations with her biological mom, her case manager and we cry right along with them when they have to say goodbye to this young girl who they have come to love so deeply.
The truth is, being a foster parent is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but these children need you. Right now in Arizona, the need for foster families to take in school-aged children, teenagers and sibling sets is urgent. More than 9,000 children in Arizona’s foster care system are ages 6 and older. Too many people turn their backs on these age groups because they’re scared. If you’re considering foster care, consider how an older child would fit in to your family. There are support programs in place that will equip you to be trauma-informed parents and people will walk alongside you on this journey of helping some of Arizona’s most vulnerable population. Imagine if we gave every foster child in foster care a stable, nurturing and loving home where they can heal. Studies show we’d have less homelessness, less substance abuse, decrease the unemployment rate, and increase graduation rates.
“This is Us” is more than just a TV show. This is our reality. And finally, millions of people are getting a glimpse inside a life they never knew existed. Because of this show, families around the country are considering opening their homes and hearts to children in foster care and for that, I’m so grateful because the need is great! Foster care is messy, but it’s worth it.
If you’re looking for a place to start, attend an information session! Ask the hard questions, do your research and talk with your family. If you would like more information about how to get started, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to see some of the foster children who are currently available for adoption please visit: connectonenow.org
Christian Family Care- Marketing & Communications
Here are some pictures of the kiddos CFC is recruiting adoptive families for:
Here is a link to a video CFC did about a foster family who only fosters teenagers: