By James Lynn
I’ve been a foster parent for 23 years, the first ten years with my wife at the time. From 2011 to the present, I have been parenting solo. To date, I have formed a lifelong permanent relationship with six of the children. I am Dad, and they are my kids. We all see each other regularly—weekends, holidays, vacations, etc. Currently, I have seven grandchildren from the various kids that have come to me!
It is hard to believe it has been more than two decades since being a foster parent. I was the age some of my kids are now just starting out! They often mention that fact. Like, “how'd ya do that? Taking care of babies & troubled teens, too.” It was certainly a challenge and a unique dynamic. Like all families, there have been many ups and downs along the way. It has just become a part of me and a way of life. In addition to forming a committed lifelong relationship with these six children, I have provided temporary respite care to others in need. For example, we had two young brothers for a few years, but the plan all along was for them to return home to their grandpa. Currently, I have a close relationship with two teens who stay with me regularly.
All these kids mean the world to me. It feels like it was what I was meant to do. All of the foster and birth children and my extended family are one big family. They all call each other brothers (and one sister), and I am Dad. I have been truly blessed to have all of the great kids in my life. They even do things around the house and chores if I am lucky, hahaha!
I would recommend the Aspire Permanency Program to anyone that may be on the fence or undecided and always thought of providing foster care. All of the staff have been very supportive to me through the years, and I have a great past & ongoing relationships with so many Aspire staff.
James Lynn has been a Foster Parent through Aspire Living & Learning since 1998.