Being a foster parent has been the most rewarding and the most challenging role a parent could take on. With all the titles I carry, biological parent, foster parent, exchange student host/parent, military spouse, being a foster parent has provided me with a network of supportive community partners and friends that no other title has carried. When my husband is away from home for military duties, so many people wrap around not only my needs, but the needs of all the children in the house.

When we say yes to a placement, reaching out to my community partners and friends has been my lifeforce during the time the children are in our home. My Bag My Story is always one that I reach out to after the children arrive and I can assess their needs. Typically, each child comes to the house with next to nothing, so when My Bag My Story provides them with a bag, the children’s faces light up knowing now they have something that is brand new and theirs.

My Bag My Story has been able to provide all of our long-term placements with bags. This has helped tremendously as other community partners and friends donate clothes, toys, and toiletries and these kiddos need a bag. We’ve used the bags for vacation, overnight visits, and school. It’s been such a blessing to have My Bag My Story as a partner and advocate for children in foster care. Each child deserves the dignity of carrying a My Bag My Story bag rather than a grocery or trash bag and I am so thankful for My Bag My Story and team.