It was the summer of 2017, at that time the husband, now the ex-husband, and I had been talking about what I wanted to do next since my current place of employment was closing. During this talk, it was God who spoke the loudest saying that it was time for me to start fostering children. Years prior to this someone had asked me after losing my daughter after birth, "why not just foster?" As a woman and a grieving mother there was no way I could see myself taking on mothering a baby and/or any child and then have to return them to their birth mother. But 2017, life open up doors for me to be that mother and now I was ready. Ready to foster, ready to give unconditional love to a person who deserve it, and ready to help shape the lives of our future. Our journey began with interviews, background checks, fingerprinting, PRIDE training with Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), and eventually moving onto the Chicago Village of SOS Children's Village. Life as I know it will never be the same. But hey, it was too late to turn back now. So, here we go, let's buckle up for the ride because BABYYYYY, I know there will be and I have some stories to tell.
Wait, let's take some steps back before we get into our ride and tell you a little more about SOS Children's Village and why I had to move onto their village. SOS Children's Village, and do not ask me what the SOS stands for because believe it or not I have no idea, anyways, its a non-profit agency with a contract with DCFS that takes in large sibling groups. So when a family has a large sibling group, typically 3 and more, DCSF will reach out to SOS for placement. This concept allows kids that are coming into foster care to stay with their siblings instead of being broken apart since they will be dealing with a new big trauma within their lives. Separation from a parent and your everyday life can be extremely difficult for a person, now add on being moved into a strange's home and you do not have anyone but yourself. At least with SOS, the children are coming into care with a stranger whose specific job is to be a Professional Foster Parent and with his or her siblings to help make the transition a little more bearable. As Professional Foster Parents our sole purpose and job is to care for the kids in our homes which by the way can be up to 6 kids at a time ranging in ages of 0 to 18 years old. The Professional Foster Parents move onto the village that consists of homes rent free, support system on site of the therapists, caseworkers, program directors, education coordinators, and each other. Remember the African Proverb, "it takes a village," therefore, SOS has created that village.