We are now a family with five children between the ages of 18 months and 14 years. There is always something going on and we could not be happier!
But how did this occur, particularly since three of those children are my nieces and a nephew?
Life changed for the better for these three children when kinship care came into play.
Kinship care involves finding relatives to care for a child or children removed from their home for varying reasons. The goal often is to return the child to the home if safe to do so.
I grew up with lots of foster-siblings, more than 50 of them in fact.
So I very quickly became used to the idea of learning to know siblings and then having to say goodbye to them.
On the surface, that might seem cruel, but it arises from a philosophy my parents followed: If children being fostered can safely return home, they should.
That philosophy reflects the reason for kinship care.
Kinship care, by the way, means that when a child is removed from his or her home and placed in foster care, all known relatives are contacted to see if they could care for the child.
The philosophy is also the reason I am involved in kinship care.