Being a parent would undoubtedly rank among the top ten most difficult occupations in the world if we had to produce such a list. Raising children, running a household, and working to pay the bills and feed the family is a difficult undertaking for anyone.
Regardless of how difficult the job is, some people choose to take it on even if they don’t have to. They are known as “foster parents.”
Katie Holstein is an example of this. She made the decision to become a mother in 2017. In January of that year, she applied to become a licensed foster parent.
“I wanted to be a mother, and I was tired of waiting for Mr. Right to do anything about it. In an essay for Love What Matters, she said, “I imagined I’d foster for a few years, help reunite some families, and maybe get to say yes to forever.”
Her application was finally approved after eight months of waiting.
Her first task didn’t take long to arrive. The same day she was accepted, she learned about two siblings in need of foster care: a one-year-old and a two-year-old.
Katie became a first-time mother to two babies overnight. It was “terrifying,” yet it was also “all I could have hoped for and more.”
This strong mother raised 16 children in the next three years. Katie claimed that she was apprehensive to take teenagers since she had heard so many horror stories, but that changed when she met Akyra, a teenage girl.
“On March 9, 2019, I received a call from my favorite social worker. ‘I know you don’t deal with teenagers, but I have this girl,’ she explained. She’s wonderful; she and her current foster family simply require a break. “How about simply for the weekend?” says the author. Katie recalled something.
She was fostering numerous children under the age of five at the time, including Thomas, a newborn who spent some time in the NICU and whom she affectionately refers to as “Tiny.”
Katie wasn’t quite ready to take on another full-time foster child, but she consented because she wanted to assist.
It turns out she made the correct choice.
Akyra was adored by the small children, who referred to her as “big friend.” Katie and she became friends through shared hobbies like Twilight and sleeping in late. Akyra would visit her for a week here and there over the next few months as she bounced around different foster homes.
Katie thought it was time to foster Akyra for earnest after almost a year of knowing her. She was 16 at the time and had planned to live with Katie until she turned 18 and was no longer in the system.
“The goal was for her to live with me for approximately a year until she graduated and then go into independent living, which is an incredible program operated by our state,” Katie explained.
“It permits youths who are about to leave the cabinet to dedicate themselves until they are 22.” They are provided with lodging, a stipend, mentors, and assistance with jobs, school, and other issues. Instead than being forced to fend for themselves at the age of 18, it allows children to make a gradual, supervised transition into adulthood.”
However, as time passed, the two got closer. Then Akyra inquired if she had ever considered adopting a teenager. Katie realized what she needed to do at that point.
Akyra became an official Holstein three days before her 17th birthday. Not only that, but at Akyra’s request, Katie also adopted Thomas on the same day!
The joyful ceremony was broadcast live on Zoom. Akyra’s caseworker, family, and friends were all present to witness the historic occurrence.
The trio held a picture shoot to commemorate their time in foster care, which was marked on a board.
Katie believes that now that their story has been shared, it may motivate others to welcome foster children into their homes. She told me that having everything in order wasn’t necessary.
“I would have missed my kids if I had waited for the ‘perfect time.’” I guarantee you, there are children in your neighborhood who are in desperate need of a safe haven right now, and they won’t care whether you’re on a budget, live in a small house, aren’t married, or are still figuring out parenting. She explained, “They need willing families, not ideal ones.”
What a lovely message of humility and kindness! This anecdote just goes to show that being a true family doesn’t always have to mean being related by blood; it may also mean being linked by the heart.
Was this story motivating to you? Don’t forget to tell your friends and family about it!