- Linda Hunter
Filling the Need
Almost 13 years ago, my husband and I decided that we wanted to foster little ones as our daughters were grown up and we wanted to help make a difference. It has been a rewarding experience throughout the years and there has been so much learned. Sadly, my husband passed away and I made a decision that I wanted to continue to foster. I had a deep interest in getting medically complex certified so I can take babies with medical problems. With each medically complex child I take in, there is specific training that has to happen for that child. I’ve taken babies with seizure disorders, traumatic brain injuries, oxygen dependent, g-tube fed babies and much more.
I am often asked “how do you do it?” or “how do you not get attached? and told “I don’t think I can do it, I would never want to give them back." My answer is always, “What I do, I do for these kids that need someone right now." I attach with every single one of my babies that are placed in my home because they absolutely need that closeness to feel safe, being that they are in a brand new environment with new faces that they have never seen before. It gives me such joy when they snuggle up to me as if they’ve known me forever. These resilient kiddos are amazing and that makes my heart happy!
I have had 55 little ones come through my home; some stay for just a day and others for over a year, but each one is loved from the minute they come through my door. I never really know how the case will develop and each case is unique. One of my main goals is to work with the parents to support them as much as I can and develop a relationship so they don’t view me as the enemy! I’ve stayed in touch with several of my families, either through Facebook, Zoom or text message. I’m watching so many of my kids grow up and it makes me so happy to see how well they are all doing. I’ve been able to watch kids go back home to their parents and thrive and I have also watched kids go to pre-adoptive homes where they were adopted and have had the privilege of becoming friends with their adoptive families. All around, it’s a win-win for me!!
I am thrilled to be able to soon retire early at the end of this year so I can continue to do foster care, because I know the need for medically complex foster homes will always be there, and I know it is a need I can help fill.