If you are new here I am hosting a four-week foster care series called Unsung Heroes. Each Monday I am featuring a foster mom and her family that has stood out for her devotion, dedication, and advocacy for all foster children. These women and their families are the Robin Hoods, the Dark Nights of our time–average people like you and me daring to change the world. I interviewed each foster mom about the ins and outs of foster care from the most commonly asked questions to the most sensitive. I’m confident that you’ll not only be inspired by each woman but may have some of your own questions answered and possibly leave with a new perspective!
This week’s family is very near and dear to our heart. We are blessed to call them long time friends as we have known Patty since we were in high school. Their shining example as foster parents is one of the reasons why Sam and I decided to become foster parents ourselves. My guests this week are Patty and Ash Wright. Patty and Ash live in the Texas Hill Country and have a beautiful eight year old son, NRW, whom they adopted through foster care, and their wonder-dog Ranger. Patty is a stay at home mom (with a killer home decor Instagram FostermomFarmhouse) and her husband Ash is a political consultant. They love spending time together as a family and enjoy church, traveling, nights at the Austin Spurs basketball games, camping, fishing, family game nights and watching NRW play sports. The Wrights have been fostering for three years.
Maegan: Patty, I’m so excited to have you as my series guest this week. I know we’ve talked about this before but what made you decide foster care was for your family?
Patty: After years of infertility, we started praying about how to grow our family! We had a coworker who had just adopted from foster care and their family referred us to their foster agency! We went to an informational meeting and we started paperwork the day of our first meeting!
Maegan: Timing is always a topic that comes up in foster care. When did you and Ash know it was ‘time’?
Patty: Very quickly after we learned about foster care and the growing need in Texas, Ash and I both felt like God was calling us to be foster parents! We were both excited and ready to provide love and safety to little Texans in need!
Maegan: What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge as a foster parent?
Patty: The greatest challenge as a foster parent is the uncertainty associated with foster care in many different aspects! Every foster case is different and it is almost impossible to predict how long a child will be placed with you! We were eager to adopt and we fostered several children before we were blessed to adopt our son!
Maegan: What advice would you give to someone considering becoming a foster parent?
Patty: We always encourage people who are considering foster care to research foster agencies in their area and attend an informational meeting to learn as much as possible. There is such a need for good families to foster and we want to help change the negative stigmas associated with foster care.
Maegan: If you could give one piece of advice to a new foster parent what would it be?
Patty: Don’t give up! There will be hard times but always remember why you decided to foster in the first place!
Maegan: What is your goal as a foster parent?
Patty: To provide a safe, loving home for children! We believe in God’s plan for our lives and we believe we are doing our part in helping children placed in tough situations. We also hope to adopt from foster care again!
Maegan: Fostering is not sustainable lifestyle and it’s important to have a plan before beginning. Does your family have a set of goals you plan to or a specific end date?
Patty: No, we hope to provide a safe home for many children for many years to come!
Maegan: What is the best thing about being a foster parent?
Patty: Watching our foster children grow and learn is the best thing for us! When we think about how far our son has come in the past three years, we are so thankful that we were chosen to be his parents!
Maegan: Attachment is one of, if not the biggest, concern most non-foster parents have about becoming a foster parent themselves. What are your thoughts on attachment?
Patty: It is super important for foster parents to teach children in their care about normal bonding and attachment practices. Most often, children in care are coming from a place of abuse and neglect and are actually craving attachment. It is important to treat each child in your care as “your own” for as long as you are blessed to have them!
Maegan: Why are you passionate about foster care?
Patty: Our world is a broken place and we want to provide a safe home for children who are put in impossible situations. It is our job as Christians to take care of those in need and we are thankful that we have the resources to do so!
Maegan: If you could only use three words to describe the certification process, what would they be? Why those words?
- Paperwork-There is A LOT. Start with the easy pages and get those finish quickly! Look over the more extensive questions and think about what you’re going to say before starting. Save the hardest for last!
- Commitment-Do not get scared of the paperwork, trainings and information! Push through and keep your focus on becoming licensed!
- Excitement-Becoming certified as a foster parent is such an exciting time! Don’t let the process overwhelm you!
Maegan: There is a great need for foster parents all across America. Could you list some of the statistics for your area?
- On average, there are 7 children each night sleeping on cots at CPS offices while waiting on a foster home.
- In 2015, there were 415,129 children in foster care in the US.
- In Texas: 27,895 children
- In Austin: 3,568
Thank you so Patty for letting me interview you today. And thank you so very much for all the hard work you and Ash do as a foster parents. And thank you for being a shining light to all foster children.
I hoped you enjoyed hearing from Patty and that you learned something new today. Please leave her some love here in the comments and Instagram–foster parents need lots of encouragement and support! If you personally know Patty and Ash I’m asking that you to support them with your hands this week. Call and ask when you can come over and do some laundry and/or wash some dishes or bring them dinner. Don’t call and ask what you can do–call and say your coming over to help or bring a meal. And then pray for them! It takes a community to foster–it takes lots of help. So, show Patty and Ash how much you appreciate all they do by lending a helping hand. If you’d like to follow along on the Wright family’s journey you can find them here on Instagram!