Greene County News Report
XENIA — Controlled chaos and fun.
That’s how Sarah and Andrew of Xenia describe what their two and a half years of being foster parents for Greene County Children Services has been like.
When they decided to add foster children to their already large family, it was a group decision. Their four teenagers (one girl and three boys) were just as enthusiastic about doing it as they were. Their daughter, when she learned how great the need for foster parents was here in Greene County, said to her parents, “We have to do this.”
Sarah and Andrew, whose last name was withheld for privacy reasons, were licensed as Greene County foster parents in October 2013 and received their first foster child placement just one month later. There have been three others over the years.
“When we decided to this, we felt like we had something to give to the kids and the parents,” Sarah said. “We had successfully raised four of our own children. We both come from families where service to others was a big part of life. “
Another factor in their decision to become foster parents was that several of their friends, some of whom attend the same church as Sarah and Andrew, had started fostering. The entire family thought, “We could do that too.”
Today, all are happy they made the decision to become a foster family.
“Our kids agree that having our family foster has had both its blessings and its challenges,” Sarah said. “Sometimes it’s hard for them to adjust to life with little ones in the house again. … It’s a little rough to have friends over when the 6-year-old is melting down or to do homework when the baby is fussy. But they enjoy interacting with the kids and feeling like they can make a difference in their lives and futures.”
When asked what the most rewarding aspect of being foster parents is, Sarah and Andrew both agreed it’s a combination of “seeing children begin to respond to your love and care and begin to thrive, and helping parents do better for themselves and their children.”
The goal of nearly every foster placement is for the agency to work with the parents to resolve issues so that they can eventually be reunited with their children in a safer, more stable environment.
“Usually, it works the way it’s supposed to,” Sarah said. “You help the parents and the kids. There really is a lot of satisfaction in seeing a broken family begin to be pieced back together.”
Other times, however, it is not possible for a child to return to his or her parent or parents. In these cases, possible solutions include placing the child with a responsible relative or finding an adoptive family for the child.
Sarah and Andrew hope that people reading their story might be inspired to become foster parents too.
“I wish people would stop thinking of reasons why they can’t foster and instead say ‘why can’t we?’ ” Andrew said. “It’s easy sometimes to think of a thousand reasons why now isn’t the right time but maybe there’s never a perfect time. Certainly there is never a perfect family. But once you look into the eyes of a child who needs you, you will be forever changed.”
There is always a need for more foster parents in Greene County, especially those willing to foster older children, teens, and sibling groups. To find out more about becoming a foster parent, call Greene County Children Services at 937-562-6600 or visit greenecountychildrenservices.org.
Content provided by Greene County Children Services.