Taking The Leap!

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Welcome to Chambliss Center for Children’s Foster Care Blog! The purpose of this blog is to express the need for loving foster homes in Chattanooga and the surrounding southeast Tennessee counties, share personal stories from some of our current foster parents, allow readers to hear from youth being fostered through our program, provide information to the community on our transitional living program for youth aging out of the foster care system, and spotlight some of the wonderful staff we have at our agency who make caring for the community’s most at-risk children their top priority.

To kick things off, we asked some of our current foster parents why they decided to take the leap in to fostering. We hope their stories inspire you to foster the future of a child.

I thoroughly enjoy the wonder of youth as they discover the world around them and having launched my own children into their lives some years previously, I found that I really missed watching that spark in their eyes when they finally understand something, watching them grow as they become amazing young people. I have served as a youth and adult pastor for years and have laughed with a large number of young adventurers as they found delight in their lives. I think wanting to watch that close-up again led me to consider fostering. I still have so much love to share and there are so many children in need of reliable adults who can teach valuable life skills in an environment of healthy love.

I have worked on multiple levels with children from daycares, to elementary schools, to children's ministry. All have their rewards and difficulties on different levels. I once overheard a teacher joke one day about the amount of curriculum she was expected to cover throughout a school day, "I guess we will just have to take them home with us!" Although she wasn't serious, it struck a cord with me. "We make great progress, then we send them home and they lose everything we've worked on", commented another teacher. I wasn't thinking in the same academic terms as the teachers I'd overheard, but I was thinking. What if...what if we could take a hurting or broken child home, even for a short amount of time? What if we could do more for a child than just complain about things I couldn't change? What if we could actually focus on ways to help? What if we could show unconditional love to the child that needs it the most? The "what ifs" turned into "let's do"! Our minds and hearts were opened. With equal parts of excitement and uncertainty my family took the leap into fostering and have been forever changed by the incredible experience.

In 2013 our middle son was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma cancer. Although he fought bravely, he was taken from us in February 2015. My husband and I felt like we still had love to give and, our remaining son had handled his brother's death relatively well so we decided to sign up for PATH classes. My husband wasn't quite sure about it but we decided to try it out with the understanding that we could do things on our own time line with no pressure. As we continued the classes, we began to feel more excited about the possibilities and were encouraged by the availability of support in the process. We are currently in our 2nd placement and, while it has challenges, knowing that we could be a small ray in sunshine into lives that may otherwise be pretty bleak keeps us going.