Foster Care | TBN

Foster Care

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May 8, 2019
27:35

Taking Care of Business

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Foster Care

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  • - THEN THE JUDGE ASKED ME, YOU KNOW,
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  • YOU WANNA GO TO A GROUP HOME
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  • OR DO YOU WANNA GO TO A FOSTER HOME?
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  • AND I SAID WELL, IF I GO TO THE FOSTER HOME,
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  • I CAN RUN AWAY AND DO THIS THING ON MY OWN AGAIN.
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  • SO I SAID, I'LL GO TO THE FOSTER HOME.
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  • - SO THEN I GO TO SOCIAL SERVICES AND I SAID,
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  • SOMETHING HUGE HAS JUST HAPPENED HERE.
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  • I SAID A MOTHER JUST GAVE ME HER CHILD,
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  • AND HERE I AM, 24 YEARS OLD,
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  • I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO DO WITH ALL THIS.
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  • - WE LOVED THOSE CHILDREN, WE WOULD'VE KEPT THEM FOREVER.
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  • BUT WE WERE TOLD THAT IT WASN'T OUR JOB TO LOVE THEM.
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  • THAT WE WERE TO TAKE CARE OF THEM,
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  • BECAUSE WE WERE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO KEEP THEM,
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  • AND THEY REMINDED US OF THAT.
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  • - THERE'S A LOT OF TIMES THAT ONCE A KID GETS A CERTAIN AGE,
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  • THE NUMBER OF HOMES THAT ARE WILLING
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  • TO TAKE A CHANCE ON THEM DECREASES.
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  • - WE WENT FROM A POINT WHERE THERE WERE ABOUT
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  • SIX THOUSAND CHILDREN IN OUT OF HOME CARE
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  • OR FOSTER CARE, IN KENTUCKY,
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  • TO WE'RE AT ABOUT NINE THOUSAND, 300 AND SOMETHING TODAY.
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  • - FOSTER CARE.
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  • IT'S A WAY OF PROVIDING FAMILY LIFE FOR CHILDREN
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  • WHO CANNOT LIVE WITH THEIR OWN PARENTS.
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  • ALL OVER THE WORLD, FOSTER FAMILIES OPEN THEIR HEARTS
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  • TO CHILDREN IN NEED AND SHARE THEIR FAMILY LIFE WITH THEM.
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  • EVERY YEAR, MORE THAN A QUARTER OF A MILLION CHILDREN
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  • COME INTO FOSTER CARE IN THIS COUNTRY.
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  • AND AS A RESULT OF THE NATION'S OPIOID EPIDEMIC,
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  • THIS NUMBER IS GROWING FASTER
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  • THAN THE SYSTEM CAN ACCOMMODATE.
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  • MORE AND MORE OFTEN THERE SIMPLY AREN'T ENOUGH FAMILIES
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  • TO MEET THE NEED,
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  • AND THESE CHILDREN MUST WAIT IN A RESIDENTIAL SETTING
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  • FOR A FAMILY TO BECOME AVAILABLE.
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  • CHILD WELFARE ADVOCATES ARE CALLING IT A CRISIS,
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  • AND CALLING US ALL TO LEARN MORE ABOUT
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  • HOW TO HELP THESE CHILDREN IN NEED.
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  • (CONTEMPLATIVE MUSIC)
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  • TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
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  • TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
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  • (SAXOPHONE MUSIC)
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  • - IF A CHILD WERE TO BE TAKEN OUT OF THEIR BIRTH HOME,
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  • KINDA THE PROCESS, WHAT HAPPENS,
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  • IS THE SOCIAL WORKER MAY GET A CALL.
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  • IT GOES THROUGH A PROCESS WHERE THEY DETERMINE
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  • WHETHER THERE'S ENOUGH RISK FOR US TO INTERVENE.
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  • AND INTERVENE IS JUST GO CHECK TO SEE IF THIS KID IS SAFE.
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  • SO A SOCIAL WORKER WILL GO TO THE HOME
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  • OR TO THE SCHOOL, TALK TO THE CHILD.
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  • IF THEY FIND RISK FACTORS THAT ARE HIGH,
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  • SO, SEXUAL ABUSE IS OCCURRING,
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  • THERE'S SUBSTANCE ABUSE OCCURRING.
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  • THE CONDITION OF THE HOME IS DEPLORABLE,
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  • IT'S NOT A SAFE PLACE FOR A CHILD TO BE.
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  • SO THOSE ARE SOME OF THE KINDA CONCRETE REASONS AS TO
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  • WHY WE MAY INTERVENE AND A KID COULD COME OUT OF THEIR HOME.
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  • AS FAR AS, LIKE, WHO DETERMINES THAT?
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  • HONESTLY, A JUDGE.
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  • I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK A SOCIAL WORKER
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  • HAS ALL OF THIS POWER, AND THIS ONE PERSON IS GOING TO
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  • MAKE OR BREAK OR DETERMINE SOMEONE'S LIFE.
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  • REALLY IT'S THE COURTS.
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  • - ALL OF THE KIDS THAT WE SERVE IN RESIDENTIAL
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  • ARE IN THE CUSTODY OF THE STATE,
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  • AND THEY HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THEIR HOMES
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  • DUE TO ABUSE OR NEGLECT,
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  • AND THEY'RE NOT ABLE TO MAINTAIN IN A COMMUNITY SETTING.
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  • SO THEY'RE NOT ABLE TO MAINTAIN IN A FOSTER HOME
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  • OR BIOLOGICAL HOME.
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  • AND SO THEY COME TO RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT,
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  • THEY LIVE THERE 24/7, BUT WE ALSO PROVIDE
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  • INTENSIVE INDIVIDUAL, FAMILY AND GROUP THERAPY
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  • ALONG WITH A STRUCTURED PROGRAM THAT HELPS THEM
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  • WHILE THEY'RE BENEFITING FROM TREATMENT.
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  • - I STARTED THINKING ABOUT FOSTER CARE
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  • AND WORKING WITH OTHER CHILDREN WHEN I BECAME A MOM.
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  • AND I REALIZED THAT THROUGH MY CHILDREN,
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  • AS THEY WERE GOING INTO SCHOOL,
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  • THAT I SEEN A LOT OF OTHER CHILDREN THERE
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  • WHO HAD A LOT OF NEEDS,
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  • AND I FELT LIKE GOD WAS JUST TUGGING AT MY HEART
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  • TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
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  • WHEN WE DECIDED TO MAKE THAT PHONE CALL
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  • AND GET INVOLVED IN THE CLASSES,
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  • IT WASN'T ANYTHING LIKE I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE.
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  • - ALL OF OUR FOSTER PARENTS
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  • ARE TRAINED AS THERAPEUTIC FOSTER PARENTS.
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  • SO STATE FOSTER PARENTS GET TRAINING AS WELL,
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  • BUT THE TRAINING THAT WE PROVIDE FOCUSES MORE ON
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  • THE EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL NEEDS THAT THE CHILD MAY HAVE
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  • DUE TO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THEIR TRAUMA,
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  • SO THAT OUR FOSTERS ARE BETTER PREPARED TO DEAL WITH THAT
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  • WHEN THEY HAVE A CHILD IN THE HOME.
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  • - SOME OF THE CHALLENGES WE FACED THERE WAS JUST THAT,
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  • WE JUST FELT LIKE THAT THERE WAS ENOUGH OF US
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  • TO HELP THE FAMILY HEAL, AND WE TRIED EVERYTHING WE COULD
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  • TO ENCOURAGE THE CHILDREN'S MOTHER.
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  • SHE JUST WASN'T ABLE TO OVERCOME THE ISSUES THAT SHE HAD.
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  • AND WE WOULD TAKE THE CHILDREN TO VISIT HER,
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  • YOU KNOW, JUST FIX THEM UP BEAUTIFULLY
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  • AND MAKE THEM LOOK LIKE A LITTLE PRINCE AND PRINCESS,
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  • AND JUST WHATEVER WE COULD TO GIVE THOSE SPARK FOR THE MOM,
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  • AND SHE JUST WASN'T ABLE TO REALLY JUST
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  • COMMUNICATE WITH THE CHILDREN,
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  • SHE DIDN'T KNOW HOW AND PROBABLY HAD NOT EVER KNOWN HOW.
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  • AND THEN WE'D BRING THEM HOME AND WE'D SPEND THE WHOLE WEEK
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  • TRYING TO GET THEM CALMED DOWN
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  • AND GET THEM OVER FEELING SAD AND DEPRESSED.
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  • THEN WE'D GET THEM TO A PLACE WHERE THEY WOULD JUST GET UP
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  • AND HAVE A LITTLE LIGHTER BOUNCE IN THEIR STEP,
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  • AND WANNA PLAY AND DO THINGS,
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  • AND THEN IT WAS TIME FOR ANOTHER VISIT.
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  • - KIDS IN A FOSTER HOME, THEY GET TO VISIT THEIR PARENT,
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  • THAT'S A RIGHT THAT A PARENT GETS.
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  • I THINK THAT'S REALLY DIFFICULT
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  • FOR MOST PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND,
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  • THAT THEY CAN 'CAUSE TO THEIR KID,
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  • BUT THEY HAVE ALL THESE RIGHTS STILL.
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  • THAT'S STILL THEIR CHILD.
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  • SO YES, THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO GO TO THEIR CHILD'S SCHOOL,
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  • THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO VISIT WITH THEIR KID
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  • AND SEE THEIR KID ON A REGULAR AND CONSISTENT BASIS.
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  • AND IF THE IDEA IS FOR THIS CHILD TO GO HOME,
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  • VISITS END UP BEING MORE THAN JUST VISITS.
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  • IT ENDS UP BEING THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE PARENT TO SHOW
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  • THAT THEY'RE CAPABLE OF KEEPING THEIR KIDS SAFE
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  • AND PARENTING THEIR KIDS.
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  • - ANOTHER CHALLENGE THAT WE HAD HAD TO DO WITH
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  • SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE WERE TOLD ABOUT FOSTER CARE.
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  • WE LOVED THOSE CHILDREN, WE WOULD'VE KEPT THEM FOREVER.
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  • BUT WE WERE TOLD THAT IT WASN'T OUR JOB TO LOVE THEM.
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  • THAT WE WERE TO TAKE CARE OF THEM,
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  • BECAUSE WE WERE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO KEEP THEM,
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  • AND THEY REMINDED US OF THAT.
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  • AND I DON'T THINK IT WAS DONE IN SPITE,
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  • IT WAS JUST HOW THE SYSTEM WORKED AT THAT TIME.
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  • BUT IT WAS VERY CHALLENGING TO CONSTANTLY HEAR,
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  • YOU DON'T NEED TO LOVE THEM.
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  • YOUR HEART, WHEN YOUR HEART'S INVOLVED IN IT,
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  • THERE'S NO WAY FOR YOU NOT TO LOVE A CHILD.
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  • SO AFTER THAT FIRST YEAR
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  • AND THOSE CHILDREN WERE READY TO LEAVE OUR HOME,
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  • WE WEREN'T SURE WE'D BE ABLE TO CONTINUE ON
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  • BECAUSE WE'D BROUGHT THOSE CHILDREN IN AND WE LOVED THEM.
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  • THEY BECAME PART OF OUR FAMILY
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  • AND THEY HAD A PLACE IN OUR HEART,
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  • JUST LIKE OUR OTHER CHILDREN DID.
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  • SO THAT WAS VERY HARD, VERY HARD TO LET GO.
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  • - FOR REUNIFICATION, IT IS ALWAYS THE INITIAL GOAL.
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  • THAT BIOLOGICAL CONNECTION THAT WE HAVE WITH OUR FAMILIES
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  • IS INNATE, IT'S SOMETHINGS THAT WE ALL AS HUMANS
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  • BENEFIT FROM, AND ALSO YEARN FOR IF WE DON'T HAVE.
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  • SO EVEN KIDS WHO UNDERSTAND THAT THEIR BIOLOGICAL HOME
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  • WAS NOT NECESSARILY THE BEST ENVIRONMENT FOR THEM,
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  • THEY STILL WANNA GO BACK THERE.
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  • AS I THINK MOST HUMANS WOULD IF YOU ASKED THEM,
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  • IF YOU WANNA GO BACK TO YOUR BIOLOGICAL,
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  • YOUR MOM, YOUR DAD, YOUR SIBLINGS,
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  • MOST PEOPLE WANT THAT CONNECTION.
  • 00:07:59.180 --> 00:08:02.220
  • WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE THAT CONNECTION
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  • OR YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'VE DONE SOMETHING WRONG,
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  • OR THAT YOU DON'T DESERVE IT
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  • BECAUSE YOUR PARENTS WEREN'T ABLE TO CARE FOR YOU,
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  • IT'S A PRETTY DAMAGING THING TO YOUR SELF-IMAGE,
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  • AND THAT IS REALLY WHERE THE TRAUMA STARTS
  • 00:08:18.170 --> 00:08:22.030
  • WITH THE KIDS WHO'VE BEEN REMOVED.
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  • - I CAN THINK OF ONE FAMILY,
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  • AND I GIVE CREDIT TO THE FOSTER MOM,
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  • 'CAUSE THIS FOSTER MOM ABSOLUTELY WANTED
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  • TO ADOPT THESE KIDS, SHE LOVED THEM.
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  • SIBLING GROUP OF FOUR.
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  • THEY WERE REMOVED FROM THEIR MOM, CONDITION OF THE HOME,
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  • AND SUPERVISION-RELATED ISSUES.
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  • SO WE TAKE HER KIDS, SHE LOSES EVERYTHING.
  • 00:08:43.270 --> 00:08:47.250
  • SHE LOSES THEIR BEDDING, SHE LOSES HER APARTMENT,
  • 00:08:47.270 --> 00:08:51.070
  • BECAUSE IT'S NOT A SAFE PLACE FOR HER TO BE EITHER,
  • 00:08:51.090 --> 00:08:53.220
  • AND HER KIDS CAN'T COME BACK THERE AND VISIT.
  • 00:08:53.240 --> 00:08:56.080
  • SO SHE LOSES WHAT WAS HER HOME.
  • 00:08:56.100 --> 00:08:58.240
  • MY FOSTER MOM HELPS HER FIND A CLEAN, SAFE PLACE TO BE.
  • 00:08:58.260 --> 00:09:02.150
  • MY FOSTER MOM HELPS HER FIND BEDS.
  • 00:09:02.170 --> 00:09:06.010
  • AND WHEN HER KIDS WENT HOME,
  • 00:09:06.030 --> 00:09:07.290
  • SO KIDS GET A STIPEND THAT HELPS WITH CLOTHES
  • 00:09:08.010 --> 00:09:11.230
  • AND THOSE THINGS WHILE THEY'RE IN FOSTER CARE.
  • 00:09:11.250 --> 00:09:14.030
  • MY FOSTER MOM PUT CLOTHES ON THESE KIDS
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  • WHILE THEY WERE IN HER HOME,
  • 00:09:16.160 --> 00:09:17.250
  • BUT SHE SAVED EVERY PENNY OF THAT STIPEND
  • 00:09:17.270 --> 00:09:20.090
  • AND GAVE IT TO MOM TO BE ABLE TO START WITH HER KIDS,
  • 00:09:20.110 --> 00:09:23.090
  • SO THAT MOM WOULDN'T BE IN THIS SITUATION,
  • 00:09:23.110 --> 00:09:27.100
  • WOULDN'T FIND HERSELF IN THIS HOLE AGAIN
  • 00:09:27.120 --> 00:09:29.210
  • WITH NO ONE THERE AND NO WAY OF DOING THIS.
  • 00:09:29.230 --> 00:09:33.070
  • AND SO THOSE KIDS GOT TO GO HOME,
  • 00:09:33.090 --> 00:09:35.000
  • AND WE'VE NOT SEEN THEM AGAIN.
  • 00:09:35.020 --> 00:09:37.170
  • - I WOULD SAY THAT IT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING
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  • THAT YOU WOULD PROBABLY DO, BUT PROBABLY THE MOST DIFFICULT.
  • 00:09:41.250 --> 00:09:46.100
  • - 32 YEARS LATER, AND HERE WE ARE,
  • 00:09:46.120 --> 00:09:49.140
  • AND WE'VE HAD NEARLY 600 CHILDREN IN OUR HOME.
  • 00:09:49.160 --> 00:09:53.250
  • AND WE'VE BEEN VERY BLESSED.
  • 00:09:53.270 --> 00:09:56.020
  • IT'S BEEN VERY CHALLENGING, I TELL PEOPLE OFTEN
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  • THAT THIS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT JOB YOU'LL EVER LOVE,
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  • AND I REALLY DON'T CONSIDER IT A JOB,
  • 00:10:03.060 --> 00:10:05.220
  • BUT FOR LACK OF A BETTER WAY OF PUTTING IT,
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  • IT'S AN AMAZING JOURNEY.
  • 00:10:09.180 --> 00:10:15.010
  • - CHILDREN COMING INTO THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM
  • 00:10:15.030 --> 00:10:17.050
  • MAY HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS.
  • 00:10:17.070 --> 00:10:19.150
  • ALL TOO OFTEN IT WAS ABUSE OR NEGLECT
  • 00:10:19.170 --> 00:10:22.000
  • THAT CAUSED THEM TO BE REMOVED
  • 00:10:22.020 --> 00:10:24.030
  • FROM THEIR HOME IN THE FIRST PLACE.
  • 00:10:24.050 --> 00:10:26.260
  • AND THAT CAN HAVE A LASTING IMPACT ON THE CHILD.
  • 00:10:26.280 --> 00:10:30.030
  • THIS CAN MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO FIND A SUITABLE FOSTER FAMILY,
  • 00:10:30.050 --> 00:10:34.050
  • BUT EVEN MORE DIFFICULT IS THE SITUATION
  • 00:10:34.070 --> 00:10:37.010
  • OF MEDICALLY FRAGILE FOSTER CHILDREN.
  • 00:10:37.030 --> 00:10:39.200
  • YOU SEE, THESE CHILDREN OFTEN HAVE
  • 00:10:39.220 --> 00:10:41.010
  • VERY SERIOUS HEALTH CHALLENGES
  • 00:10:41.030 --> 00:10:43.100
  • AND REQUIRE A HIGH LEVEL OF DEDICATION
  • 00:10:43.120 --> 00:10:45.140
  • FROM THEIR FOSTER PARENTS.
  • 00:10:45.160 --> 00:10:48.040
  • - WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL,
  • 00:10:48.060 --> 00:10:50.290
  • I WAS A LIFE GUARD AT THE SWIMMING POOL IN THE COMMUNITY.
  • 00:10:51.010 --> 00:10:55.240
  • AND BECAME VERY ATTACHED TO A LITTLE GIRL
  • 00:10:55.260 --> 00:11:00.050
  • NAMED DIANE WHO CAME TO THE POOL.
  • 00:11:00.070 --> 00:11:02.090
  • TURNED OUT DIANE WAS LIKE THE TERROR OF THE POOL,
  • 00:11:02.110 --> 00:11:04.240
  • SO SHE SPENT A LOT OF TIME BY MY CHAIR,
  • 00:11:04.260 --> 00:11:08.230
  • BUT WE DEVELOPED A BIG SISTER RELATIONSHIP.
  • 00:11:08.250 --> 00:11:13.170
  • AND IT TURNS OUT THAT SHE STARTS TELLING ME
  • 00:11:13.190 --> 00:11:15.200
  • THAT HER MOTHER'S BOYFRIEND IS ABUSIVE TO HER.
  • 00:11:15.220 --> 00:11:20.190
  • AND SO I GO TO TALK TO HER MOM, HER MOM TELLS THE BOYFRIEND,
  • 00:11:20.210 --> 00:11:25.260
  • THE BOTTOM LINE IS,
  • 00:11:25.280 --> 00:11:28.020
  • DIANE'S MOTHER PACKED UP EVERYTHING SHE HAD
  • 00:11:28.040 --> 00:11:30.220
  • AND BROUGHT HER TO ME AND SAID, COULD SHE STAY WITH YOU?
  • 00:11:30.240 --> 00:11:34.290
  • AND I'M LIKE WELL, SURE SHE CAN.
  • 00:11:35.010 --> 00:11:37.220
  • SO THEN I GO TO SOCIAL SERVICES AND I SAID,
  • 00:11:37.240 --> 00:11:39.200
  • SOMETHING HUGE HAS JUST HAPPENED HERE.
  • 00:11:39.220 --> 00:11:41.290
  • I SAID A MOTHER JUST GAVE ME HER CHILD,
  • 00:11:42.010 --> 00:11:43.260
  • AND HERE I AM, 24 YEARS OLD,
  • 00:11:43.280 --> 00:11:46.150
  • I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO DO WITH ALL THIS.
  • 00:11:46.170 --> 00:11:49.220
  • IT WAS '77 WHEN I GRADUATED FROM NURSING SCHOOL.
  • 00:11:49.240 --> 00:11:53.000
  • PROBABLY IN '78 WAS WHEN I TOOK DIANE IN TO LIVE WITH ME.
  • 00:11:53.020 --> 00:11:58.290
  • SO THAT WAS KIND OF OUR INITIAL
  • 00:11:59.010 --> 00:12:02.150
  • INTRODUCTION INTO SOCIAL SERVICES, WAS IN '78.
  • 00:12:02.170 --> 00:12:06.060
  • WE'VE DONE IT CONTINUOUS SINCE THEN.
  • 00:12:06.080 --> 00:12:09.150
  • AND THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NO QUESTION
  • 00:12:09.170 --> 00:12:13.110
  • THAT IT'S BEEN MORE THAN 200 CHILDREN
  • 00:12:13.130 --> 00:12:15.180
  • THAT WE HAVE HAD IN OUR HOME AT DIFFERENT TIMES.
  • 00:12:15.200 --> 00:12:20.120
  • - THERE'S ALWAYS BEEN OTHER KIDS
  • 00:12:20.140 --> 00:12:21.230
  • IN THE HOUSE RUNNING AROUND.
  • 00:12:21.250 --> 00:12:23.210
  • MAJORITY OF THE TIME IT WAS NOTHING SPECIAL,
  • 00:12:23.230 --> 00:12:27.220
  • IT WAS JUST HAVING ADDITIONAL KIDS OVER.
  • 00:12:27.240 --> 00:12:31.040
  • SO IT NEVER REALLY CLICKED WITH ME,
  • 00:12:31.060 --> 00:12:33.130
  • ESPECIALLY AT A YOUNGER AGE,
  • 00:12:33.150 --> 00:12:34.270
  • OF IT BEING ANYTHING OUT OF THE NORMAL.
  • 00:12:34.290 --> 00:12:37.240
  • EVEN AS I GOT OLDER,
  • 00:12:37.260 --> 00:12:39.070
  • IT WAS ALWAYS JUST THE NORM TO HAVE KIDS IN THE HOUSE.
  • 00:12:39.090 --> 00:12:43.030
  • - IN MY MIND, I THINK IT WAS A,
  • 00:12:43.050 --> 00:12:47.040
  • THE FACT THAT WE HAD A REVOLVING DOOR AT TIMES
  • 00:12:47.060 --> 00:12:51.100
  • OF DIFFERENT CHILDREN COMING IN,
  • 00:12:51.120 --> 00:12:54.140
  • OUR KIDS GOT A BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF,
  • 00:12:54.160 --> 00:12:59.100
  • EVERYBODY DOESN'T HAVE THE SAME THINGS THAT WE HAVE.
  • 00:12:59.120 --> 00:13:04.050
  • EVERYBODY DOESN'T HAVE A MOM AND A DAD, EVEN,
  • 00:13:04.070 --> 00:13:09.230
  • THAT THEY CAN SEE EVERY DAY.
  • 00:13:09.250 --> 00:13:14.220
  • - OUR KIDS ARE THE AGE NOW, AND OUR RELATIONSHIP IS SUCH
  • 00:13:14.240 --> 00:13:19.120
  • THAT I'M CONFIDENT THEY COULD BE HONEST WITH US AND SAY,
  • 00:13:19.140 --> 00:13:23.120
  • PHILIP, DO YOU REGRET THAT WE HAD ALL THESE FOSTER KIDS
  • 00:13:23.140 --> 00:13:27.070
  • WHILE YOU WERE GROWING UP?
  • 00:13:27.090 --> 00:13:29.060
  • HE WOULD SAY ABSOLUTELY NOT, MOM.
  • 00:13:29.080 --> 00:13:31.130
  • HE SAID, IT WAS PART OF MY LIFE, AND MATTER OF FACT,
  • 00:13:31.150 --> 00:13:35.020
  • AT SOME POINT DAVE AND I ARE HAVING A CONVERSATION,
  • 00:13:35.040 --> 00:13:38.000
  • ARE WE GOING TO REGRET THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN
  • 00:13:38.020 --> 00:13:40.190
  • WE'VE HAD IN OUR HOME,
  • 00:13:40.210 --> 00:13:42.020
  • THE FACT THERE'S ONLY SO MANY HOURS IN THE DAY,
  • 00:13:42.040 --> 00:13:44.140
  • YOU'RE SPENDING IT ON SOMEONE ELSE'S KIDS,
  • 00:13:44.160 --> 00:13:46.200
  • GUESS WHAT, THAT MEANS THAT THERE'S,
  • 00:13:46.220 --> 00:13:48.280
  • THOSE HOURS ARE GONE FROM YOUR CHILDREN,
  • 00:13:49.000 --> 00:13:51.100
  • MAYBE WE SHOULD TAKE A BREAK.
  • 00:13:51.120 --> 00:13:52.260
  • LET'S TAKE A BREAK AND CONCENTRATE JUST ON OUR OWN,
  • 00:13:52.280 --> 00:13:58.020
  • AND IT HADN'T BEEN A MONTH, THE PHONE RINGS AND PHILLIP SAYS
  • 00:13:58.040 --> 00:14:02.090
  • MOM, MAYBE THAT'S SOCIAL SERVICES WITH A FOSTER CHILD.
  • 00:14:02.110 --> 00:14:06.270
  • I THINK THEY'RE VERY PROUD OF US,
  • 00:14:06.290 --> 00:14:08.070
  • AS A MATTER OF FACT, STEPHEN WROTE ME CARD THAT SAYS,
  • 00:14:08.090 --> 00:14:10.260
  • THANKS FOR BEING A MOM I CAN BE PROUD OF.
  • 00:14:10.280 --> 00:14:13.180
  • AND I DO THINK THAT THEY ARE PROUD OF THE FACT
  • 00:14:13.200 --> 00:14:17.160
  • THAT THEY WERE PART OF THIS CONTRIBUTION
  • 00:14:17.180 --> 00:14:19.190
  • TO THE GREATER GOOD.
  • 00:14:19.210 --> 00:14:22.220
  • - IT'S DEFINITELY INSTILLED A LOT OF,
  • 00:14:22.240 --> 00:14:25.260
  • A FOUNDATION OF GENEROSITY IN ME,
  • 00:14:25.280 --> 00:14:29.110
  • THAT YOUR TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN IS SO VALUABLE,
  • 00:14:29.130 --> 00:14:34.280
  • BUT EVEN THAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN SHARE.
  • 00:14:35.000 --> 00:14:38.030
  • AND IT'S NEEDED.
  • 00:14:38.050 --> 00:14:41.020
  • THE NEED FOR ASSISTING CHILDREN
  • 00:14:41.040 --> 00:14:44.180
  • IN THIS WORLD IS UNMANAGEABLE.
  • 00:14:44.200 --> 00:14:47.150
  • BUT INDIVIDUALS THAT CAN TAKE THEIR TIME
  • 00:14:47.170 --> 00:14:50.220
  • TO TAKE A LITTLE SACRIFICE FOR THE BENEFIT OF A CHILD IS,
  • 00:14:50.240 --> 00:14:55.050
  • THAT'S SOMETHING THAT HAS STUCK WITH ME,
  • 00:14:55.070 --> 00:14:57.160
  • THAT EVEN AS AN ADULT, THAT UNDERSTANDING AND REALIZING
  • 00:14:57.180 --> 00:15:01.110
  • HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO HELP OTHERS THAT ARE IN NEED OF HELP.
  • 00:15:01.130 --> 00:15:05.190
  • - AT THIS POINT, WE ARE PRETTY MUCH 100% MEDICALLY FRAGILE.
  • 00:15:05.210 --> 00:15:11.050
  • WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN DRAWN TOWARD CHILDREN
  • 00:15:11.070 --> 00:15:16.110
  • WITH MEDICAL NEEDS.
  • 00:15:16.130 --> 00:15:18.170
  • OUR DAY TO DAY ROUTINE,
  • 00:15:18.190 --> 00:15:20.290
  • IT TRULY DOES REQUIRE BOTH OF US TO DO THAT.
  • 00:15:21.010 --> 00:15:26.170
  • IN THE MORNING IT'S VERY COMMON
  • 00:15:26.190 --> 00:15:29.080
  • THAT DAVE AND I WILL SIT DOWN AND PLAN AN AGENDA.
  • 00:15:29.100 --> 00:15:33.120
  • IT IS NOTHING FOR US TO HAVE THREE OR FOUR
  • 00:15:33.140 --> 00:15:36.060
  • MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS IN A DAY.
  • 00:15:36.080 --> 00:15:38.110
  • AND I CAN SAY, I'M GONNA TELL YOU WHAT DAVE,
  • 00:15:38.130 --> 00:15:40.050
  • I'M ON 15 MINUTE BLOCKS TODAY.
  • 00:15:40.070 --> 00:15:43.120
  • SO I CAN'T BE OFF SCHEDULE.
  • 00:15:43.140 --> 00:15:46.170
  • ONE OF THE FOSTER CHILDREN THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW
  • 00:15:46.190 --> 00:15:49.170
  • LITERALLY GETS 36 DOSES OF MEDICATIONS A DAY.
  • 00:15:49.190 --> 00:15:54.120
  • SHE'S HAD A HEART TRANSPLANT, AND THEY'RE DIVIDED OUT.
  • 00:15:54.140 --> 00:15:59.120
  • BUT IT BECOMES PART OF YOUR LIFE.
  • 00:15:59.140 --> 00:16:02.020
  • TO THE POINT THAT I WOULDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITHOUT IT,
  • 00:16:02.040 --> 00:16:07.090
  • I REALLY WOULDN'T.
  • 00:16:07.110 --> 00:16:08.230
  • - THEY HAVE A VERY WONDERFUL SET OF SKILLS AND ABILITIES,
  • 00:16:08.250 --> 00:16:14.060
  • AND THEY'VE GOT THIS GOD-GIVEN TALENT
  • 00:16:14.080 --> 00:16:17.160
  • TO HELP THESE CHILDREN THAT ARE IN NEED,
  • 00:16:17.180 --> 00:16:21.190
  • AND THEY ARE NOT GONNA LET THAT GO TO WASTE.
  • 00:16:21.210 --> 00:16:25.120
  • THAT THEY RUN INTO THE SITUATIONS THAT,
  • 00:16:25.140 --> 00:16:27.190
  • EVERYDAY MY MOM WILL CALL ME SAYING HEY,
  • 00:16:27.210 --> 00:16:29.240
  • WE'VE GOT A NEW KID COMING TOMORROW.
  • 00:16:29.260 --> 00:16:32.080
  • AND IT'S, STILL IT'S SURPRISING TO ME
  • 00:16:32.100 --> 00:16:34.220
  • THAT THEY'RE STILL INTO IT, BUT THEY LOVE IT,
  • 00:16:34.240 --> 00:16:37.070
  • AND I THINK IT REALLY GIVES THEM
  • 00:16:37.090 --> 00:16:39.150
  • A GREAT SENSE OF PURPOSE IN LIFE TO
  • 00:16:39.170 --> 00:16:42.260
  • THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AND LIVES
  • 00:16:42.280 --> 00:16:45.260
  • THAT THEY HAVE CHANGED DIRECTLY
  • 00:16:45.280 --> 00:16:47.230
  • THROUGH THEIR WORKS AND EFFORTS IS UNCOUNTABLE.
  • 00:16:47.250 --> 00:16:51.270
  • - I CANNOT ENVISION MY LIFE WITHOUT FOSTER CARE.
  • 00:16:51.290 --> 00:16:56.000
  • AND I THINK AS LONG AS I AM PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY CAPABLE
  • 00:16:56.020 --> 00:17:02.160
  • OF HELPING A CHILD, THAT I'LL BE DOING THAT.
  • 00:17:02.180 --> 00:17:08.000
  • - FOSTER PARENTS UNDOUBTEDLY FACE A HOST OF CHALLENGES.
  • 00:17:10.250 --> 00:17:14.100
  • WITH THE STRAIN OF WORKING WITH OFTEN TROUBLED KIDS,
  • 00:17:14.120 --> 00:17:17.250
  • AND THE FRUSTRATION OF DEALING WITH THE CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM
  • 00:17:17.270 --> 00:17:21.190
  • IT CAN FEEL DRAINING, AND DAUNTING.
  • 00:17:21.210 --> 00:17:25.010
  • SO WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANYONE DO IT?
  • 00:17:25.030 --> 00:17:27.210
  • WELL THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS,
  • 00:17:27.230 --> 00:17:29.010
  • IT'S ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL WAYS
  • 00:17:29.030 --> 00:17:31.010
  • YOU CAN IMPROVE THE LIFE OF A CHILD
  • 00:17:31.030 --> 00:17:33.140
  • IN A DESPERATE SITUATION.
  • 00:17:33.160 --> 00:17:35.180
  • YOU CAN CHANGE THE COURSE OF A CHILD'S LIFE,
  • 00:17:35.200 --> 00:17:38.210
  • AND MAKE AN IMPACT THAT COULD HAVE
  • 00:17:38.230 --> 00:17:41.090
  • A RIPPLING EFFECT FOR GENERATIONS.
  • 00:17:41.110 --> 00:17:46.010
  • - WE OFTEN DIDN'T HAVE EVEN SOME OF THE MOST BASIC THINGS
  • 00:17:46.030 --> 00:17:50.000
  • IN SCHOOL, OR IN LIFE, WHICH LED TO,
  • 00:17:50.020 --> 00:17:54.150
  • I WAS BULLIED A LOT AT SCHOOL.
  • 00:17:54.170 --> 00:17:56.050
  • OUR CLOTHES WERE OFTEN SOILED.
  • 00:17:56.070 --> 00:17:58.170
  • SOMETIMES THE ONLY MEAL WE WOULD GET
  • 00:17:58.190 --> 00:17:59.270
  • WOULD BE THE ONE WE'D GET IN SCHOOL.
  • 00:17:59.290 --> 00:18:02.190
  • AND OF COURSE TURNING TO ALCOHOL AT A VERY YOUNG AGE.
  • 00:18:02.210 --> 00:18:06.090
  • THE OTHER THING WAS THAT I REALIZED THAT IF I COULD WORK,
  • 00:18:06.110 --> 00:18:10.010
  • THAT I COULD GET MYSELF OUT OF MY SITUATION.
  • 00:18:10.030 --> 00:18:13.170
  • SO I WOULD OFTEN WORK,
  • 00:18:13.190 --> 00:18:15.100
  • AND SOMETIMES THAT MONEY WAS TAKEN FROM US KIDS,
  • 00:18:15.120 --> 00:18:20.200
  • WHICH LED TO MORE BITTERNESS AT HOME.
  • 00:18:20.220 --> 00:18:23.230
  • MY MOM WOULD, SHE'D EITHER BE IN THE BARS
  • 00:18:23.250 --> 00:18:26.250
  • OR SHE'D BE AT THE CHURCH,
  • 00:18:26.270 --> 00:18:28.260
  • SO YOU NEVER REALLY KNEW WHAT YOU WERE GETTING.
  • 00:18:28.280 --> 00:18:31.170
  • MY EARLIEST MEMORY WAS BEING SEXUALLY ABUSED
  • 00:18:31.190 --> 00:18:34.140
  • IN A PICKUP TRUCK, IN A FIELD,
  • 00:18:34.160 --> 00:18:36.220
  • OUTSIDE OF FRANKLIN, PENNSYLVANIA.
  • 00:18:36.240 --> 00:18:38.290
  • I WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED AGAIN
  • 00:18:39.010 --> 00:18:40.090
  • BETWEEN MY SIXTH AND SEVENTH GRADE YEAR.
  • 00:18:40.110 --> 00:18:42.050
  • OF COURSE WHEN I WAS ASKED ABOUT IT I LIED,
  • 00:18:42.070 --> 00:18:43.190
  • 'CAUSE I WAS ASHAMED, AND I DIDN'T WANNA DEAL WITH THAT.
  • 00:18:43.210 --> 00:18:47.230
  • EVEN AT A YOUNG AGE I DIDN'T WANNA DEAL WITH IT.
  • 00:18:47.250 --> 00:18:50.020
  • BUT WHEN IT HAPPENED TO ME THE SECOND TIME,
  • 00:18:50.040 --> 00:18:52.050
  • AND I HAD SPENT THE BETTER PART OF THREE YEARS
  • 00:18:52.070 --> 00:18:55.010
  • BEING PHYSICALLY ABUSED,
  • 00:18:55.030 --> 00:18:57.020
  • IT WAS WHEN I WAS GOING INTO SEVENTH GRADE THAT I DECIDED
  • 00:18:57.040 --> 00:18:59.160
  • THAT NO MAN WOULD EVER PUT HIS HAND ON ME AGAIN.
  • 00:18:59.180 --> 00:19:03.000
  • AND I THINK THAT THAT'S WHERE A LOT OF THE ANGER CAME FROM.
  • 00:19:03.020 --> 00:19:05.220
  • WHAT ENDED UP EVENTUALLY LANDING ME IN COURT WAS,
  • 00:19:05.240 --> 00:19:08.030
  • MY MOM WOULD, WHEN WE WOULD HAVE THESE KNOCK-DOWN,
  • 00:19:08.050 --> 00:19:11.100
  • DRAG OUT ARGUMENTS OR FIGHTS,
  • 00:19:11.120 --> 00:19:13.010
  • AND SHE WOULD KICK ME OUT OF THE HOUSE.
  • 00:19:13.030 --> 00:19:14.230
  • AND SHE WOULD SAY, GO,
  • 00:19:14.250 --> 00:19:16.070
  • AND I GUESS I WAS ABOUT 14 THE FIRST TIME THAT HAPPENED,
  • 00:19:16.090 --> 00:19:18.250
  • AND SHE WOULD JUST KICK ME OUT.
  • 00:19:18.270 --> 00:19:20.060
  • AND I TALKED TO THIS GUY WHO HAD SAID
  • 00:19:20.080 --> 00:19:22.240
  • HE COULD GET ME A JOB WORKING AS A LOG SKID OPERATOR
  • 00:19:22.260 --> 00:19:26.130
  • FOR A LOGGING COMPANY, AND SO I WENT TO HIS HOUSE.
  • 00:19:26.150 --> 00:19:30.110
  • AND LITERALLY SPENT A MONTH AT HIS HOUSE.
  • 00:19:30.130 --> 00:19:33.240
  • AND COPS SHOWED UP AND ASKED ME MY NAME.
  • 00:19:33.260 --> 00:19:39.030
  • I SAID YEP, THAT'S ME,
  • 00:19:39.050 --> 00:19:40.100
  • AND THEY TOOK ME.
  • 00:19:40.120 --> 00:19:42.280
  • AND THE JUDGE ASKED ME, YOU KNOW,
  • 00:19:43.000 --> 00:19:45.060
  • YOU WANNA GO TO A GROUP HOME
  • 00:19:45.080 --> 00:19:46.230
  • OR DO YOU WANNA GO TO A FOSTER HOME?
  • 00:19:46.250 --> 00:19:48.080
  • AND I SAID WELL, IF I GO TO THE FOSTER HOME I CAN RUN AWAY
  • 00:19:48.100 --> 00:19:49.250
  • AND DO THIS THING ON MY OWN AGAIN.
  • 00:19:49.270 --> 00:19:52.070
  • SO I SAID, I'LL GO TO THE FOSTER HOME.
  • 00:19:52.090 --> 00:19:55.100
  • SO THE JUDGE SAID THAT I COULDN'T BE CONTROLLED,
  • 00:19:55.120 --> 00:19:58.010
  • AND SAID WE'RE GONNA PUT YOU IN AN ENVIRONMENT
  • 00:19:58.030 --> 00:20:00.140
  • WHERE YOU CAN GET STRUCTURE AND YOU CAN GET CONTROL.
  • 00:20:00.160 --> 00:20:02.280
  • OF COURSE THAT SOUNDED LIKE A DEATH SENTENCE
  • 00:20:03.000 --> 00:20:04.100
  • TO ME AT THE TIME, AND THAT DAY I HATED THAT JUDGE.
  • 00:20:04.120 --> 00:20:08.110
  • AND I'VE LEARNED TO PUT THAT PERSON, THAT JUDGE,
  • 00:20:08.130 --> 00:20:12.150
  • AND MAYBE SOMEDAY I'LL ACTUALLY LOOK UP WHO THAT JUDGE WAS,
  • 00:20:12.170 --> 00:20:15.230
  • BUT THAT JUDGE SAVED MY LIFE THAT DAY.
  • 00:20:15.250 --> 00:20:18.060
  • SO THE CASEWORKER TOOK ME TO BETHESDA,
  • 00:20:18.080 --> 00:20:20.100
  • AND THEN FROM THERE TO A STEER FARM.
  • 00:20:20.120 --> 00:20:23.270
  • AND THE FAMILY THAT WAS THERE,
  • 00:20:23.290 --> 00:20:25.160
  • TOOK ME ABOUT A WEEK TO FIGURE OUT
  • 00:20:25.180 --> 00:20:27.090
  • THAT THAT FAMILY WAS REALLY LOOKING FOR YOUNGER KIDS,
  • 00:20:27.110 --> 00:20:31.150
  • STRONG ENOUGH TO WORK THE FARM
  • 00:20:31.170 --> 00:20:33.070
  • BUT NOT OLD ENOUGH TO REALLY FIGURE OUT
  • 00:20:33.090 --> 00:20:34.190
  • THAT THEY WERE USING THE SYSTEM
  • 00:20:34.210 --> 00:20:35.270
  • FOR FARM LABOR, CHEAP FARM LABOR.
  • 00:20:35.290 --> 00:20:39.210
  • THE CASEWORKER CAME AND PICKED ME UP
  • 00:20:39.230 --> 00:20:41.100
  • AND TOOK ME TO GARY AND CAROL SCHRECKENGOST,
  • 00:20:41.120 --> 00:20:45.070
  • WHO ENDED UP BECOMING MY FOREVER FOSTER FAMILY.
  • 00:20:45.090 --> 00:20:48.050
  • GARY AND CAROL WERE JUST WHAT I NEEDED.
  • 00:20:48.070 --> 00:20:52.010
  • AND THAT FOSTER FAMILY REALLY JUST STARTED TO
  • 00:20:52.030 --> 00:20:54.080
  • NOT ONLY SHOW ME LOVE AND CARE AND WHAT THAT LOOKED LIKE,
  • 00:20:54.100 --> 00:20:57.080
  • AND I ALWAYS SAY, MASTERING THE MUNDANE, THE DAY TO DAY LIFE
  • 00:20:57.100 --> 00:21:01.010
  • AND TEACHING THE LIFE SKILLS,
  • 00:21:01.030 --> 00:21:02.250
  • THE THINGS THAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED AS AN ADULT.
  • 00:21:02.270 --> 00:21:04.060
  • HOW TO COPE WITH OTHER PEOPLE, HOW TO COPE WITH FAMILY,
  • 00:21:04.080 --> 00:21:06.090
  • HOW TO COPE WITH,
  • 00:21:06.110 --> 00:21:08.190
  • JUST THE EVERYDAY STUFF THAT A FAMILY DOES.
  • 00:21:08.210 --> 00:21:11.040
  • AND WHAT IS AN APPROPRIATE REACTION,
  • 00:21:11.060 --> 00:21:13.260
  • APPROPRIATE ACTIONS AND REACTIONS
  • 00:21:13.280 --> 00:21:15.220
  • TO EVERYTHING THAT COMES WITH A FAMILY.
  • 00:21:15.240 --> 00:21:17.190
  • SO GARY AND CAROL WERE REALLY THE FIRST TIME
  • 00:21:17.210 --> 00:21:19.280
  • I HAD EXPERIENCED THAT IN A VERY MEANINGFUL WAY.
  • 00:21:20.000 --> 00:21:23.250
  • I THINK THE DEEPEST EXPRESSION OF LOVE
  • 00:21:23.270 --> 00:21:27.040
  • THAT I FELT FROM THEM WAS WHEN I TURNED 18.
  • 00:21:27.060 --> 00:21:30.110
  • WHICH I TURNED 18, AND MY BIRTHDAY'S IN APRIL.
  • 00:21:30.130 --> 00:21:32.200
  • SO THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR WAS IN JUNE.
  • 00:21:32.220 --> 00:21:34.230
  • THEY WERE PLANNING A FAMILY VACATION TO GO TO MYRTLE BEACH
  • 00:21:34.250 --> 00:21:37.110
  • IN JULY, FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY.
  • 00:21:37.130 --> 00:21:39.220
  • WELL IN THE BEGINNING, I WASN'T,
  • 00:21:39.240 --> 00:21:41.110
  • BECAUSE I DIDN'T THINK I WAS GOING BECAUSE JUNE,
  • 00:21:41.130 --> 00:21:44.100
  • THE FOSTER CARE WASN'T GONNA BE PAYING FOR ME ANYMORE.
  • 00:21:44.120 --> 00:21:48.040
  • SO I WAS TALKING TO MY FOSTER BROTHER
  • 00:21:48.060 --> 00:21:50.040
  • AND WHERE THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT GOING TO MYRTLE BEACH,
  • 00:21:50.060 --> 00:21:52.230
  • AND I SAID YEAH, YOU GUYS ARE GONNA HAVE A LOT OF FUN
  • 00:21:52.250 --> 00:21:54.120
  • AT MYRTLE BEACH.
  • 00:21:54.140 --> 00:21:55.240
  • AND HE SAID, WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU GUYS?
  • 00:21:55.260 --> 00:21:57.080
  • AND I SAID BROTHER, I'M ALREADY 18.
  • 00:21:57.100 --> 00:21:59.250
  • IN JUNE THE MONEY'S GONE,
  • 00:21:59.270 --> 00:22:01.210
  • YOUR PARENTS AREN'T GONNA WANT ME HERE.
  • 00:22:01.230 --> 00:22:03.200
  • AND APPARENTLY HE'D GONE TO HIS FAMILY,
  • 00:22:03.220 --> 00:22:07.050
  • 'CAUSE LATER THAT NIGHT GARY AND CAROL
  • 00:22:07.070 --> 00:22:08.160
  • BROUGHT ME OUT TO THE KITCHEN TABLE JUST THE TWO OF US
  • 00:22:08.180 --> 00:22:10.160
  • AND THEY SAID, WELL WHY DO YOU WANNA LEAVE?
  • 00:22:10.180 --> 00:22:11.210
  • AND I SAID I DON'T WANNA LEAVE BUT THE,
  • 00:22:11.230 --> 00:22:13.210
  • YOU KNOW, I KNOW IN JUNE THAT THE MONEY RUNS OUT.
  • 00:22:13.230 --> 00:22:17.290
  • HE SAID JIMMY, YOU'RE PART OF OUR FAMILY.
  • 00:22:18.010 --> 00:22:21.080
  • HE SAID WE DON'T HAVE YOU HERE FOR THE CHECK.
  • 00:22:21.100 --> 00:22:23.150
  • WE HAVE YOU HERE 'CAUSE WE CARE ABOUT YOU.
  • 00:22:23.170 --> 00:22:25.280
  • AND WE WANNA SEE YOU...
  • 00:22:26.000 --> 00:22:28.130
  • WE WANNA SEE YOU TAKEN CARE OF.
  • 00:22:28.150 --> 00:22:30.290
  • WE LOVE YOU, THAT'S WHAT FAMILY DOES.
  • 00:22:31.010 --> 00:22:36.190
  • I FELT LOVED BEFORE,
  • 00:22:36.210 --> 00:22:39.240
  • BUT THAT SACRIFICIAL LOVE WAS SO FOREIGN TO ME
  • 00:22:39.260 --> 00:22:44.230
  • AT THAT POINT IN MY LIFE, THAT CHANGED ME FOREVER.
  • 00:22:44.250 --> 00:22:52.050
  • - THERE ARE MANY REASONS PEOPLE
  • 00:22:52.070 --> 00:22:53.200
  • SHOULD BECOME A FOSTER PARENT.
  • 00:22:53.220 --> 00:22:55.250
  • THE MOST OBVIOUS REASON IS TO PROVIDE
  • 00:22:55.270 --> 00:22:58.040
  • A STABLE, LOVING ENVIRONMENT FOR CHILDREN.
  • 00:22:58.060 --> 00:23:01.040
  • MOST OF THE CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE
  • 00:23:01.060 --> 00:23:03.100
  • HAVE EXPERIENCED A LOT OF TRAUMA AND INSTABILITY,
  • 00:23:03.120 --> 00:23:06.160
  • AND THEY NEED AN ENVIRONMENT
  • 00:23:06.180 --> 00:23:08.260
  • WHERE THEY WILL FEEL SAFE AND SECURE.
  • 00:23:08.280 --> 00:23:11.210
  • NOT ONLY CAN FOSTER PARENTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
  • 00:23:11.230 --> 00:23:13.260
  • IN THE LIFE OF A CHILD,
  • 00:23:13.280 --> 00:23:15.160
  • THEY MAY ALSO MAKE A POSITIVE INFLUENCE
  • 00:23:15.180 --> 00:23:17.280
  • IN THE LIVES OF THE CHILD'S PARENTS AND EXTENDED FAMILY.
  • 00:23:18.000 --> 00:23:21.150
  • THEY CAN BE AN EXTENSION OF SUPPORT FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY.
  • 00:23:21.170 --> 00:23:26.040
  • FOSTER CARE IS A CALLING, AND IT TAKES A SPECIAL PERSON.
  • 00:23:26.060 --> 00:23:30.220
  • ARE YOU THAT PERSON FOR THAT CHILD?
  • 00:23:30.240 --> 00:23:34.210
  • I'M KELLY WRIGHT, AND WE WANT YOU TO KNOW,
  • 00:23:34.230 --> 00:23:37.110
  • THAT WITH EVERY CHILD,
  • 00:23:37.130 --> 00:23:39.060
  • YOU CAN CONTINUE TO BE TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS.
  • 00:23:39.080 --> 00:23:44.290
  • - [MALE] FOSTER PARENTING IS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL WAYS
  • 00:23:45.010 --> 00:23:47.200
  • TO PROVIDE A STABLE FAMILY LIFE AND A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT
  • 00:23:47.220 --> 00:23:51.000
  • FOR A CHILD WHO CANNOT LIVE WITH THEIR BIRTH PARENTS.
  • 00:23:51.020 --> 00:23:54.010
  • EVERY YEAR IN THE UNITED STATES
  • 00:23:54.030 --> 00:23:56.040
  • THERE ARE MORE THAN A QUARTER OF A MILLION CHILDREN WHO,
  • 00:23:56.060 --> 00:23:58.170
  • THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN,
  • 00:23:58.190 --> 00:24:00.120
  • ARE SEPARATED FROM THEIR BIRTH FAMILIES.
  • 00:24:00.140 --> 00:24:02.200
  • IN MANY CASES THERE IS OFTEN ABUSE OR NEGLECT,
  • 00:24:02.220 --> 00:24:05.140
  • WHICH HAS RESULTED IN A TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE
  • 00:24:05.160 --> 00:24:07.170
  • FOR A YOUNG PERSON JUST GETTING STARTED ON LIFE'S JOURNEY.
  • 00:24:07.190 --> 00:24:10.230
  • WHILE THE DECISION TO BE A FOSTER PARENT OR FAMILY
  • 00:24:10.250 --> 00:24:13.060
  • CAN BE CHALLENGING, THE OPPORTUNITY TO IMPACT A
  • 00:24:13.080 --> 00:24:16.200
  • CHILD'S LIFE IN A POWERFUL AND MEANINGFUL WAY,
  • 00:24:16.220 --> 00:24:18.170
  • CAN HAVE LONG LASTING BENEFITS
  • 00:24:18.190 --> 00:24:20.180
  • THAT WILL INFLUENCE THAT CHILD,
  • 00:24:20.200 --> 00:24:22.120
  • AND HIS OR HER CHILDREN, FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.
  • 00:24:22.140 --> 00:24:25.240
  • TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT FOSTERING,
  • 00:24:25.260 --> 00:24:27.210
  • PLEASE CONTACT THE NATIONAL FOSTER PARENT ASSOCIATION
  • 00:24:27.230 --> 00:24:31.020
  • AT 800-557-5238, OR VISIT ONLINE AT NFPAONLINE.ORG.
  • 00:24:31.040 --> 00:24:37.270
  • AGAIN, THAT'S NFPAONLINE.ORG.
  • 00:24:37.290 --> 00:24:45.030
  • (JAZZY MUSIC)
  • 00:24:45.050 --> 00:24:49.250
  • - AT SOME POINT JUST RECENTLY, IN THE LAST MONTH,
  • 00:24:49.270 --> 00:24:52.190
  • SOMEONE SAID, YOU KNOW, THE STATE OF KENTUCKY
  • 00:24:52.210 --> 00:24:54.220
  • USED TO HAVE FIVE TO SIX THOUSAND CHILDREN IN FOSTER
  • 00:24:54.240 --> 00:24:59.170
  • CARE. SHE SAID WE'RE NINE TO 10 THOUSAND CHILDREN
  • 00:24:59.190 --> 00:25:01.270
  • IN FOSTER CARE RIGHT NOW.
  • 00:25:01.290 --> 00:25:05.120
  • WE DON'T HAVE PLACES FOR THESE KIDS,
  • 00:25:05.140 --> 00:25:07.040
  • SHE SAID, WE TRULY ARE IN A FOSTER CARE CRISIS
  • 00:25:07.060 --> 00:25:10.160
  • BECAUSE OF THE DRUG CRISIS, AND, IT'S HUGE.
  • 00:25:10.180 --> 00:25:16.030
  • - AN OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR OLDER KIDS WOULD BE NICE.
  • 00:25:16.050 --> 00:25:20.260
  • FOR PEOPLE TO TRULY COME IN SAYING YEAH,
  • 00:25:20.280 --> 00:25:23.020
  • NO NO, I WANNA PARENT YOUR TEENAGERS.
  • 00:25:23.040 --> 00:25:25.270
  • - THERE'S A LOT OF TIMES THAT ONCE A KID GETS A CERTAIN AGE,
  • 00:25:25.290 --> 00:25:29.180
  • THE NUMBER OF HOMES THAT ARE WILLING
  • 00:25:29.200 --> 00:25:31.130
  • TO TAKE A CHANCE ON THEM DECREASES.
  • 00:25:31.150 --> 00:25:34.080
  • AND SO IF WE COULD FIND MORE FAMILIES
  • 00:25:34.100 --> 00:25:37.160
  • THAT ARE WILLING TO TAKE A CHANCE ON OUR OLDER KIDS,
  • 00:25:37.180 --> 00:25:40.290
  • 'CAUSE THEY NEED THE SAME STABLE, SECURE, HEALTHY,
  • 00:25:41.010 --> 00:25:44.260
  • SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT AS OUR LITTLE ONES DO.
  • 00:25:44.280 --> 00:25:48.130
  • - WE WANT OUR FOSTER AND ADOPTIVE PARENTS TO KNOW
  • 00:25:48.150 --> 00:25:51.160
  • THAT THEIR JOB IS NOT JUST TO CORRECT THE BEHAVIOR,
  • 00:25:51.180 --> 00:25:55.150
  • BUT TO LOOK BEHIND THAT BEHAVIOR AND FIND OUT
  • 00:25:55.170 --> 00:25:57.220
  • WHAT THE REASONS ARE FOR THAT BEHAVIOR.
  • 00:25:57.240 --> 00:25:59.190
  • AND TO PARENT IN THAT WAY,
  • 00:25:59.210 --> 00:26:01.260
  • WITH AN UNDERSTANDING THAT AT THE END OF THE DAY,
  • 00:26:01.280 --> 00:26:05.000
  • THE RELATIONSHIP THAT THEY HAVE WITH THAT CHILD
  • 00:26:05.020 --> 00:26:07.270
  • HAS TO BE OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE
  • 00:26:07.290 --> 00:26:10.120
  • WHEN THEY'RE DEALING WITH THOSE BEHAVIORS,
  • 00:26:10.140 --> 00:26:12.130
  • AND HELPING THEM FIND A REPLACEMENT BEHAVIOR.
  • 00:26:12.150 --> 00:26:15.220
  • OR TO HELP THEM UNDERSTAND THEIR FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS.
  • 00:26:15.240 --> 00:26:19.070
  • - IF THERE IS ANYTHING I COULD SAY TO MY FOSTER PARENTS,
  • 00:26:19.090 --> 00:26:24.010
  • TO GARY AND CAROL,
  • 00:26:24.030 --> 00:26:26.280
  • IS THAT I LOVE YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.
  • 00:26:27.000 --> 00:26:32.120
  • AND ON BEHALF OF NOT ONLY ME,
  • 00:26:32.140 --> 00:26:35.240
  • BUT EVERY PERSON THAT I AM ABLE TO HELP,
  • 00:26:35.260 --> 00:26:43.240
  • THANK YOU.
  • 00:26:43.260 --> 00:26:46.080
  • THERE ARE SO MANY LIVES THAT YOU HAVE CHANGED,
  • 00:26:46.100 --> 00:26:53.220
  • AND I CANNOT BEGIN TO TELL YOU
  • 00:26:53.240 --> 00:26:56.290
  • HOW MUCH GRATITUDE THAT I AND SO MANY OTHERS
  • 00:26:57.010 --> 00:27:01.160
  • HAVE BECAUSE OF YOUR SACRIFICE.
  • 00:27:01.180 --> 00:27:05.140
  • AND GIVING, WHEN YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO.
  • 00:27:05.160 --> 00:27:11.010
  • (INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC)
  • 00:27:11.030 --> 00:27:12.020