All my life I have been a lover of people but never have I loved anyone more than children. Although I had a very successful real estate career. I found myself always wanting to be around children and being concerned with their needs. I began to see some needs that we were not fulfilling as a community. There were children there that were part of the system, children that had case workers because they were in jeopardy of being taken from their parent’s home and needing to be placed in a foster care family. I did not know how much innocent children were exposed to and the stress that they experienced. The last straw was when a child’s caseworker came and took a child from my center to be placed elsewhere and I had to tell the mother that the caseworker came and took her son away to a foster home and I had no further details. After consoling her for hours to no avail. I became a foster parent so that if that ever was the case again, I could stand in the gap until these parents got themselves together.
I eventually went on to be a foster parent to two wonderful girls, one who was adopted by a friend of mine who so wanted a child and one that was adopted to another family. Then I received a call from a friend that I had come to be fond of in the foster care community, asking if I would be available to do some respite for a child she had in her home as she would be traveling. I said “Yes” and fell in love with this shy little girl.
Then one day I got an awful call letting me know that my foster care mom friend had passed away and they needed someone immediately to take the child that I had done respite for, for some time. And from there, our family inclusive of my mother who lived with us at the time, tried to love all her hurts away.
Then she turned 18 and a caseworker rang the doorbell to let her and I know that it was time for her to move on. They would help her get a place and just like that my little girl was a grown up by one doorbell ring. I pleaded with the caseworker and my child not to go that she needed to go to school and get a trade and save some money and of course she needed more life skills. The caseworker’s offer was too enticing; she gets her own place, no curfew, no “clean your room”, no lectures, how could I beat that? I let her know that I was disappointed with her decision, but we would be with her always and she had a family for life not just until the foster care stipend stopped. So she left to be on her own and the phone calls got farther and fewer in between. I never stopped worrying about her like mothers do about their children.
My concern led me to founder “Family for Life Foundation”. A foundation that would support aged out youth from the system, foster care families, families that were endanger of losing their children, or any family that needs support.
She called me one day and told me that she was regretful of leaving and that she needed our support and we welcomed her back with open arms. That was several years ago and now 13 years later she is apart of our family just like the rest of our blended family of 5 children and my wonderful husband who was not there from the beginning but you would not know it, he is her father just the same and we are her Family For Life and this magazine will help us bring awareness to the needs, information, resources and support available to so many others. Thank you in advance for your participation in this plight.
Family For Life Foundation
A foundation that would support aged out youth from the system, foster care families, families that were endanger of losing their children, or any family that needs support.
— Michele. Mother & Founder of FFLF
Our village is dedicated to fostering a thriving community of successful youth & families.