KC Parent interviewed Kansas City-area foster parents on their experiences. Read their article “Foster Care in Kansas City” here.
Olathe couple Rachel and Jonathon Boese knew they wanted to eventually become foster parents after getting married. Early on, several of their conversations centered on their desire to open their loving home to children in need. They decided they would go for it whenever the perfect time presented itself. After a few years, however, they realized that the perfect time to become a foster parent didn’t exist.
“Honestly, if I had a dollar for every time someone told me they thought about doing it when ‘life settled down,’ I’d be rich,” Rachel says. “You can research it and think about it—but neither will prepare you for actually doing it.”
By the time they decided to foster, they had a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. On top of this, Rachel found out she was pregnant with their third child on the same day their first child needing foster care arrived!
The family currently has four biological children and has opened their home to several children in need over the years. The Boeses have been amazed at how rewarding and enriching fostering has been for them personally. Also, Rachel is quick to squash common myths about the foster care experience.
“People worry a lot about the impact foster parenting will have on their own children. For us, we felt it was the very best way for our children to see the importance of loving and serving others. Our children have shared toys, bedrooms and clothes. For us, the experience has been overwhelmingly positive.”
What About Saying Goodbye to a Child You’ve Become Attached To?
For Rachel and Jonathon, perhaps the hardest part of foster parenting is also the most rewarding and uplifting. Helping children reintegrate back into their homes brings the Boeses immense joy, despite the difficulty involved with saying goodbye to children they’ve become attached to.
Lee’s Summit foster parents Andy and Kyle Ewing agree. The Ewings have an adopted 4-year-old daughter and have recently welcomed a sibling group of sisters into their home. They’re aware that sometimes good things are attained through struggle. Kyle says:
“It’s all hard and it’s all beautiful… it’s also the most rewarding thing we have ever done. To watch your children win battles they have struggled with—when they overcome fears they’ve had previously—are huge wins in our life. Little things like getting cleared from a particular therapy or support service are things we celebrate.”
In the Kansas side of KC alone, more than 1,500 children are in the foster care system due to various family challenges. The greatest need right now is for more foster parents who are willing to give care and support to teens and children in need. Have any questions on how to become a foster parent in Kansas? Click below for a free download that gives answers to frequently asked questions!