My sister and I were Foster Parents In Davidson County Tennessee for two and a half years. Just picture it, two unmarried, childless women, who grew up in rural Kansas becoming Foster Parents in Nashville Tennessee. At the time, nearly 1,680 kids were in the Foster Care System/custody.
We sat through all of the classes, the trauma training, and the stories that they tell you in hopes to prepare you for what is about to come walking through your door. The preparation and the stories do not even come close to what we actually experienced. We had 16 Foster Children through our home in two and a half years. We had ages newborn to 18. And still, each and every time a child arrived with nothing, or with items shoved into a black garbage bag, we still stood in disbelief.
I remember vividly the arrival of one teenager girl. All of her belongings shoved into a black trash bag. As I poured it out onto the floor, it was clear, that this was all she had! Some of it clearly wasn’t even hers. As I sorted and made piles for the laundry, I remember thinking, there needs to be more. She deserves more! How is this a Foster Child in one of the wealthiest countries in the world?
With every one of our Foster Children, we, the Foster Parents, went out and purchased brand new suitcases. The way their eyes would light up when we presented them with a suitcase was priceless. We made it our mission, personally, to never have a child leave without a bag.
This was before My Bag My Story was founded. Cara Finger and her team have taken it to the next level and are ensuring that all children have a bag. Not just the ones lucky enough to be placed with two sisters, who couldn’t stomach seeing a child shove their belongings in a trash bag. But any and all children! Thank you Cara for seeing the need and giving some light in all the darkness!