Board Games for Bored Kids
Katy Berner-Wallen is another foster parent with New Directions. Her foster daughter has created a drive for new board games to help out kids in group homes. Here is a bit of their story:
“I always knew that I would be a foster parent. When I was 18, a college professor talked to us about the importance of adoption and I really took it to heart. I knew that if I ever had a child it would happen through foster care.
During Covid, there was a child that I noticed kept missing school. As an assistant principal, this concerned me. I learned that the reason she kept missing school was because she lived in a group home and had to keep quarantining whenever another child became sick. I asked if there was anything that could be done to allow her to continue attending school and was jokingly told that, unless I was willing to take her in, she would likely keep missing school. ‘I’ll go home, talk to my husband, and let you know tomorrow,’ I said. We decided that we would take her in.
I did not realize how much I could love a kid. I work with them all the time, but having one in my home was different. My world is so much fuller now with her in it and I find myself able to make better decisions with other’s kids because of my foster daughter. My husband has changed too. He is more patient and, after seeing how he is with our foster daughter, I have started to love him in a new way.
My favorite part of being a foster parent is having someone to go on little adventures with. Whether we are going to the store, a drive-thru (Taco Bell), or just on a drive, it’s nice to hang out with my new copilot and listen to some music.
Some days are really hard as a foster parent. During tough times, I find strength in seeing how much growth there has been since the beginning. It’s important to know who you are as a person in order to help someone else. When I first became a foster parent, I was surprised at how long it takes to get things done because of how much work there is, but I was also surprised by the amount of support that is available through the system. There are so many resources. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, my advice is to find an organization that will provide you with as much support as New Directions does!
My foster daughter (soon-to-be ours forever) has created a fundraiser in order to give back to the community. At 13, she came up with the idea and created the poster for Board Games for Bored Kids. Many children in group homes don’t have very much to do during the summer to keep them occupied. It’s not uncommon for them to pull out a board game to play and find that some of the most important pieces are missing. The goal of Board Games for Bored Kids is to collect at least 50 new board games to donate to children in group homes by the end of June so they won’t be bored during the summer. Help us show these kids that the world is kind.”