Fostering those most in need: teenagers
Several years ago, Mia Flowers felt moved to research fostering kids, but it wasn’t until she was reading the Bible with her husband, Ben, that the idea solidified for them both.
“When we were reading the Bible, something jumped off the page to me, that fostering is what we needed to do with our lives,” Ben said.
Mia researched agencies for months, finally deciding to foster through Youth Villages. Now, the Flowers have been foster parents with the organization for more than five years.
While many of their foster care experiences have been for reunification or respite care, the Flowers family adopted one teen boy this year.
“We seem to do better with teens… those 15 to 18 years old,” Ben said.
This past summer, they adopted a 16-year-old boy on his birthday – their first adoption – after fostering him for six months. Initially, the young man expressed contempt at the idea of being adopted. However, the Flowers family demonstrated over time they could treat him the same as their own biological children, offering a safe, loving environment where he is supported.
Youth Villages overdid the training, to a good degree.
Ben and Mia felt prepared for foster care and adoption, thanks to all the training, education and ongoing guidance offered by Youth Villages. They’ve fostered several kids who had experienced trauma, but they knew they could call their counselors at any time for support.
When asked if anything stood out to him as a changing point, Ben recalled a quiet boy they fostered around Christmas a few years back. He seemed angry at his situation and didn’t talk much to the family. However, when Christmas Day arrived and he was treated the same as the Flowers’ biological kids, he felt accepted and seen. He hugged Mia for the first time.
“My experience with that young man confirmed for me what we’re doing is the best thing, fostering children in need,” Ben said.
For more information about foster care and adoption at Youth Villages, visit the online form or call 1-888-MY-YV-KID
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