Foster Care Is Somewhere You’ve Been, Not Something You Are
This guest blog post is written by Cathy Lohr, an adoptive mother whose daughter, Fatima, was adopted through the Foundation’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program.
We first learned about our daughter, Fatima, in the autumn of 2015. We had been in the search process for more than a year and we were becoming very discouraged. We often heard we lived too far away for family visits and/or caseworker visits. When we received Fatima’s profile, we learned that there was more to her situation than the profile could convey and that she was considered a case that required “special consideration.”
To be frank, Fatima’s profile was pretty scary. She had been through so much and it showed. Nonetheless, we knew we wanted to learn more about her. Our hearts were broken when Fatima was placed with another family, but we had to move on. Fast forward a few months and our caseworker called to tell us that placement didn’t work out and asked if we’d like to meet Fatima. Though we were shocked, we knew the answer was still yes.
The day I first met my daughter was her 10th birthday. We played several games of Uno, and while she has no memory of this meeting, I’ll never forget it. We started visits in May and she moved into our home on July 18th.
In the two years since she’s been ours, we have spent a great deal of time trying to find the right kind of therapy to help her deal with the trauma she has experienced. We have worked with her doctor to take her off of medications that she didn’t need. We have become friends with others in similar situations. It has been an uphill journey, but a journey we wouldn’t trade, as we have been making it together.
Today, Fatima is a wonderful young lady who does well in school, is great with small children and animals, loves to play basketball, dreams of being a teacher and begrudgingly plays the saxophone. She participates in a singing group that is affiliated with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, and loves all seafood. As a family, we love to travel. We take an annual Thanksgiving trip to Bethany Beach, DE and are planning a large-scale road trip for this summer.
Fatima will need continued support to cope with her past and prepare for her future, but our challenging days are equal to our good days. We are finding that with love and patience she is becoming an amazing young woman who will show the world that foster care is somewhere you’ve been, not something you are.