It Is Possible To Become A Foster Parent

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Can you be there for a child during life’s special moments?

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Imagine the top five things that matter the most in the mind of a child.  This may include the love and comfort they receive from their parents or caregivers, surprise kisses from their family’s furry friend, cuddling up with their favorite teddy bear before bedtime, and watching Saturday morning cartoons with their brothers and sisters. Now, imagine that they wake up one day and are told that they must leave all of those things behind.  This is what it is like for a child who has been removed from the family and home that they have grown up in and placed into foster care.  In the blink of an eye they are faced with losing everything they once relied on for love, support, and comfort.

Aspiranet, one of California’s leading nonprofit human service agencies works every day to find families – in all shapes and sizes that will provide a loving home – whether for a day or a lifetime to youth and children in need.  And while we think that it is all about the children, many folks like Lacey Dunkin find that their lives are forever changed as well.

Lacey Dunkin wanted to become a mother for years, but she just wasn’t sure that becoming a foster parent was a possiblity for a single parent. In 2011, Lacey was thrilled to find out that adoption was definitely a possibility for her when she found out about Aspiranet while searching for a local adoption agency. Lacey was certified as a foster parent and within a few months, her four foster daughters, all of which were siblings, came into her care in 2012 who were soon to be followed by their two younger siblings who moved into Lacey’s home in 2013. Throughout Lacey’s experience as a foster mother, Dunkin was able to build a very trusting relationship with her foster daughters’ birth mother.  This was priceless! It helped the girls maintain a close bond with their mother as she worked hard to regain her parental rights. The mother was given back her parental rightbs but once the young mother reunified with her girls, she knew that she felt strongly that Lacey Dunkin could offer a much better life for her young girls than what she could personally give them.  Soon the mother asked Lacey if she would be interested in adopting the children. Without hesitation upon this request, Dunkin officially adopted all six girls. At this time, the girls were between the ages 0 – 8., with the adoption of her youngest daughter which was made official in March 2015.

For 40 years, Aspiranet has worked hard to ensure that these children are placed in loving, permanent homes.  Aspiranet guides families through a wonderful process that allows these families to provide foster care for youth while they work to reunify with their birth family.  These families can also use this time to plan for adoption if the reunification plan should not turn out to be successful.

In California there are more than 55,000 children in foster care due to no fault of their own and 10,000 children waiting to be adopted. This year, Aspiranet hopes to inspire new families to open their hearts and homes to children in need of a loving, nurturing environment for California foster children.

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Each and very child deserves the right to grow up in a loving, secure and permanent home.  Another one of Aspiranet’s missions is to place youth that have an even greater need for a family, such as teenagers, older children, special needs children and sets of siblings in homes in addition to babies and toddlers.  Aspiranet hopes to welcome many new foster-adoptive parents this year in order to help ensure that every child in need is given the chance to grow and thrive in a loving, secure atmosphere.

Can you open your heart and help raise a hero through foster or adoption and be a part of life’s special moments?  Take the first step to creating a lifelong connection with a foster child.  Talk with one of our family recruiters at 877.380.HERO or visit AspiranetHeroes.org.

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