May is Foster Care Month and we would like to recognize and thank all of the amazing foster parents who open up their homes to help children in Western New York, like Holly and Tim Bentley. Check out what she had to say about their experience as foster parents.
“I’ve always wanted to be a foster parent. When I was a kid my mother always used to help out the neighborhood kids. What she did was a lot like fostering, now that I think about it, and it inspired me to want to do the same. So, when my husband and I got to a position in our lives when we could foster – we did.
After deciding we wanted to foster, we searched online for foster care agencies and New Directions was one of the first ones to come up. When we reached out the foster care team was very responsive. They answered all of our questions and were on top of things. The home finders are awesome and I have nothing but positive things to say about the team.
One of the things that has surprised me about being a foster parent is how quickly kids are able to adjust to being in my home. It’s nice to see them become more comfortable.
My favorite thing about fostering, aside from loving on the children, is seeing the impact that we are able to make. Being a foster parent gives you a new perspective on things. You get to see what’s really important and what isn’t. It keeps you grounded and brings you back to earth. You realize, as a foster parent, that it doesn’t take much to impact a kid’s life. I always tell the kids that come to stay with us, ‘If you are able to take one positive thing away from your time with us, then we did a good job.’ I mean, obviously the more positive things the better, but sometimes that one thing can have a big impact.
Being a foster parent has its ups and downs. When going through difficult times, it’s nice to have a community of other foster parents to talk to. Other foster parents get it, they understand, and they can help you be patient when it’s challenging. You have to have patience and compassion for what the kids have been through. You should also have compassion for the parents as well. When being a foster parent, you should go in with an open mind.”
Thank you Holly and Tim for fostering good!