DISCLAIMER: Hey reader! Please know Children’s Bureau, Inc is a valued partner of theCityMoms. Because of this relationship, we occasionally share sponsored content we feel could be valuable or interesting for your family, like this intimate look into the Parker family’s experience with foster care, thanks to guidance and support championed by Children’s Bureau. Read on, reader…

Serving as a foster family wasn’t originally in the Parker’s plans, however they felt called to fostering through their faith. “God brought several different families and individuals across our path that had fostered or had done foster to adopt, and we were just drawn to it through their stories. It wasn’t always a pretty story, but over time we felt compelled that it was something that God wanted our family to do,” Kristen Parker explained.

foster care Children's Bureau - theCityMoms

At the time, Kristen’s biological sons were budding teenagers and she and her husband discussed the idea of serving as a foster family. While her youngest son had initial concerns, she saw the compassionate spirit of her boys come through as they warmed to the idea. “They were both very much on board and realized that we had room in our home, room in our family, and room in our hearts to care for a child either temporarily or permanently, who may not otherwise have that support.” Soon, her family began working with the Children’s Bureau, Inc. to bring foster children into their home.

Kristen hoped the foster experience would teach her biological children that if you can help someone, you should help them. She also credits this experience with helping her older sons learn useful skills for when they become fathers themselves. “They are teenage boys who know how to change a diaper!” she laughed.  She has loved watching her older sons teach and care for their younger brother. “I know they are going to be great dads because of this experience.”

WE FELT THIS WAS AN IMPORTANT TOPIC TOO: Talking to young children about body safety

What began as a plan to serve as a temporary foster family evolved into the Parkers expanding their hearts and their home permanently when a baby boy was brought to them at just three months old. Ultimately, his biological family relinquished their parental rights and the Parkers adopted their youngest son just before his second birthday. “Adopting was never on our radar,” Kristen said, “but we fell in love with him.”

foster care Children's Bureau - theCityMoms

Kristen is candid about fostering, cautioning that it isn’t easy. Children in the foster care system have suffered various forms of trauma ranging from a disconnected pregnancy to high medical needs, from limited bonding with another person to or physical or mental abuse.  “Every child that comes in the foster system has suffered from trauma,” Kristen explained. She credits the Children’s Bureau with helping her family to develop the skills they needed to support their adopted son. “The Children’s Bureau offers a fantastic training program on trauma, helping you to learn how to work with, support, and attach to kids who have experienced trauma.” And it’s that attachment that is so necessary to foster children. “Even if you foster one kid for just a few weeks, you’ve positively impacted that child for life. You may be the first person they’ve every bonded with or made them feel cared for.”

Kristen’s advice to families considering foster care is to go in with your eyes wide open; educate yourself about the effects of trauma on children, find like-minded people to support and guide you through your fostering experience, and select a supportive and knowledgeable agency, like the Children’s Bureau. “If someone is out there feeling any sort of nudge or interest or question about fostering, just take some time and look into it,” Kristen encouraged. There is just such a need for foster parents. And I know there are lots of people out there that would be amazing.”

MORE INFORMATION: The Children’s Bureau of Indianapolis has served local families since 1851 to support their vision of a healthy family for every child. In addition to providing foster care services, they provide educational programming and support to prevent entry into child welfare, work with families in the welfare system and aid them in keeping their children,  and offer guidance to children and families moving beyond the foster program. Visit their website for additional information.



Laurel Price - theCityMomsLaurel Price traded in her former career of wrangling Fraternity & Sorority members as a university Greek Advisor for wrangling her her 4 year old son and two year old daughter. She recently returned to her undergraduate background of Public Relations and supports the Urban Chalkboard as their Communications Director.

Laurel loves reading {her resolution is to read at least 36 books this year}, long solo trips to Target, all things natural parenting, and {according to her husband} is becoming an obsessive environmentalist.