It was a regular July day in 2013. After dropping off the kids, I headed in to work deep in my own thoughts. When you have a bunch of little people running around the house, car rides tend to be a mini-sanctuary perfect for dreaming and processing. My husband and I had spent the last year as foster parents and it was becoming clear that we were about to take the leap into becoming adoptive parents. This July day, I found myself troubled by the reality that it looked like our fostering journey was coming to an end but Arizona’s foster care crisis was still in full swing. I didn’t know what else we could do to help but I knew we had to do something. Foster Arizona was born out of exactly that- a crazy idea that little ol’ me could do something more. At the time I couldn’t have dreamed we would start a non-profit or that we would get to be a part of sharing the incredible stories of real people and kids affected by foster care. I didn’t imagine that I would get to help facilitate almost 500 kids in foster care getting out for a day of fun or that I would time and time again share in the excitement of a new family starting their journey to becoming foster parents. What I did know is that I could do something. I had to do something.
There are over 19,000 kids in foster care in Arizona alone. They are in your child’s class, playing at the local park, sitting next to you at the movie theatre. You will not know them when you see them but, I guarantee you, your life will be forever changed if you meet them. I never cease to be amazed by the fierce hope that surrounds the kids I have gotten to interact with. These kids living in foster care have been through hard times and incredible loss but, still, they are filled with hope. They are fighters and overcomers. They have dreams and talents. They want to be loved and know that someone will stand beside them no matter what. They want what every other kid wants because the reality is that is what they are…they are just kids needing us to stand together to help them keep dreaming. Just like Chris…
If this is the first time you have heard about what is going on with foster care in Arizona, we hope you will continue to learn with us as we have voices from different facets of foster care speaking on the blog. If you are interested in ways to do something to help with the crisis, we would love to help you find the right fit. For more information visit FosterArizona.org or contact me via email at Kim@fosteraz.com.
Founder and CEO
Photo credit: Ray2 photography