Guest post by Eckerd’s Pinellas County Foster Parent Martin Carpenter.
I grew up in a broken home. I want that for nobody. My dad was married three times and yes, I may be a spitting image of him, but I am nothing like him.
My wife of 20 years and I began fostering after I was fixing a friend’s shower and met the two boys she was fostering. I instantly fell in love with them. I felt there were kids in the Tampa Bay area that could benefit from the stability and love my wife and I could provide. We can’t take away the bad that has happened to them, but we can help them learn to heal.
We have two biological children who have also learned a great deal from the process. Maybe our kids have been a little spoiled over the years not really understanding how much mom and dad do around and inside the house. But they too have given up much and shown their foster siblings hope. My kids argue over who is going to put our youngest foster child in their car seat or who is going to push the stroller. I feel like together we are making someone else’s family whole.
I tell my kids all the time that you can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have family you have nothing. For the kids that come into our home we give them family.
To learn more about how to become a foster parent in the Tampa Bay area visit FosteringTampaBay.org