When our family began our foster care journey we knew we could not physically prepare for all of the different scenarios that we might experience given that we were open to accept kids from birth to middle school aged. What we did not expect was a middle of the night phone call asking us to take in a sibling set of three, ages 4 months to 4 years. These little loves came with no more than the clothes on their backs, a handful of diapers, a small amount of formula and one bottle. It was also April in NC, which meant you may need shorts one day and a coat the next. The next 72 hours were a blur. We were trying to focus on the emotional well being of three little ones but a lot of our energy had to go towards finding them clothing, shoes, and other essentials to care for their physical needs. I was blessed by family and friends who stepped in to help but it was hard!! Fast forward many years and several children later and I realized that not everyone providing foster care had the support that I had. I have since partnered with two non-profits who work hard to walk along side families as a support system. For Foster Village Charlotte, the first step is providing emergency placements with all of the essentials they need to get their child settled into their home. Clothing, PJs, socks, underwear, diapers, wipes, bottles, blankets, lovies, books, hygiene items, etc.
I have the honor of packing most of the bags and every one is packed with love and a quiet prayer over the child who will receive it. As I pack each blanket, each book, each pair of pajamas I think of my first placement and how that gift the first day would have made for a more focused experience on the child and a less chaotic entry into foster care for our family. Each pack and everything in it is my why. For many children, this new bag and its contents are all they own. Vulnerable children in our community deserve the dignity they feel when they are shown that they are loved and valued.
I am grateful for your support as we all grow the village together and walk alongside the families that are stepping up to care for the children in foster care.