‘We have been so blessed:’ Parents advocate taking in foster children

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 10:43 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2023 at 11:15 PM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The foster system in Chatham County is struggling to find foster parents.

At any given time, there are more than 300 children in Chatham County who are in the foster system. That’s according to the numbers provided by Brightside, an advocacy group for foster children that works closely with the state.

Without a foster family, those kids are finding themselves living hours away from their community.

Brightside says that during the height of the pandemic, they had a large drop in children coming into the system as well as a lack of opportunities to onboard ready and willing foster parents.

“Don’t get emotional, we always get emotional when we look at this.”

People like Jenna and Daniel...

“That’s my husband, I love Dan, and that’s her.”

Whose refrigerator door is lined with love were originally inspired in the midst of Covid the two opened their home to foster.

“When I go back and I think of myself in that situation where I told my friend ‘how could you do this? I would get too attached.’ That’s us. At the end of the day we do get too attached, and what we think now is that if you do get too attached, you would probably make an excellent foster parent,” said Jenna Adams.

Nearly three years later, they could not imagine it any other way. The family has now had two sets of siblings become part of their family.

“Here, do you wanna put in here?”

Each one taking a little piece of parents heart with them.

“When people ask how many kids I have I say four, I count the two that we had previously, because they are my kids. The joy that those kids bring to us and bring to others is definitely a highlight.”

It’s families like the Adams that Kate Blair of Bright Side says the state of Georgia is in dire need of.

“These children are just waiting for a consistent adult to care for them,” said Kate Blair.

And with the lack of foster homes in Chatham County, many of those children, find themselves hours away from everything they know.

“Over half of our children are sent to other counties so when a child comes into care, they go to the home that is open and with the limited amount that we have here in Chatham County our kids are ending up as far as Atlanta sometimes up on the Tennessee border, Alabama border three to four hours away from their community.”

For families like the Adams family, distance means nothing when it comes to their family.

“It has been the hardest thing we have had to do by also the most rewarding We have been so blessed by the kids that have been in our house.”

If you are interested in fostering, you can reach out to Brightside Child & Family Advocacy.

Promise 686 is also hosting a Foster Care and Respite Care Information Gathering and Panel Discussion on Sunday, Sept. 24th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Community Bible Church in Savannah.