“I was sitting at church one day and one of the speakers was talking about how he wouldn’t have been the person he was if he didn’t have a good foster home. It really hit me and resonated.”
But it wasn’t until a few years later that Wendy, a mom of 5 in Taylor, Ariz., found her passion as a foster parent.
Answering the Call
One fateful day, Wendy and her husband awoke to the phone ringing at 2 a.m. It was the Show Low Police Department asking if Wendy’s husband knew that one of his employees was experiencing homelessness and living behind a Walmart. The police had brought him a sleeping bag, but they knew the young man wouldn’t be able to stay there permanently.
Both Wendy and her husband sat straight up in bed and knew they had to help. They then brought the young man into their home, where he stayed for about 2 months. They helped the man get his driver’s license and car and save up some money so he could set out on his own.
“That was a turning point for us, that we can do this. We can help some kids,” said Wendy.
Making a Dream Reality
After this life-changing event, Wendy got connected with Catholic Charities because she was Christian and related to the agency’s mission. In April of 2020, she began fostering.
To date, Wendy has fostered 6 teen boys. Often, the boys come to her home struggling with issues like anger and malnourishment. She invites the boys to help out around her farm and learn responsibility. Wendy finds that this not only allows them to heal emotionally, but to grow physically stronger as well.
“When you help these kids, you hope that it goes further than just while they’re here. You hope that they leave your home with good goals and that they radiate kindness instead of anger,” she added.
Accepting the Challenge
As a foster parent, Wendy has learned that the key to success is being adaptable with communication and discipline. What works for one of her boys may not work for the others.
Every night at dinner, her family gathers around the table and shares two things they’re grateful for, the best and worst part of their day, and one thing they’re worried about. This practice allows Wendy to know what’s going on in her boys’ lives. And when one of them is struggling with something, the whole family can have a conversation about it and offer solutions.
Reaching Out for Support
Above all, Wendy stresses the importance of asking for help. She is extremely grateful for her licensing worker, Donna. Every time she has an issue, Wendy knows Donna will answer her call. From day one, Donna has been by Wendy’s side, providing her with valuable help, knowledge, and honesty.
If Wendy’s story inspired you, learn more about how you can help children in foster care.