Some people consider foster parents and adoptive parents to be two entirely different groups, but what we see quite often is foster parents becoming adoptive parents, whether that was the original intention or not.
Becoming a foster parent is big decision. Opening up your home to a child in need is a great gift, but it's also a significant responsibility. You have to have the space in your home and in your heart to help care for and guide a child. Those who make the decision to become foster parents can make some of the most amazing adoptive parents when the time is right.
The Reyelts family of South Dakota was recently highlighted in an article by the Daily Republic. They exemplify the situation of foster parents that end up adopting, even though that wasn't necessarily the plan...
Posted by: The Daily Republic
Meeting a need: Local families take in foster children
Sarah and Terry Reyelts didn't intend to double their family when they went into foster care, but that's what happened.
The Reyelts have two biological daughters, who are 19 and 14, and adopted their 15-year-old son after he came to them three years ago in what was supposed to be a three-day-long foster placement. As of next month, they'll also have adopted the 2-and-a-half-year-old girl and 1-and-a-half-year-old boy they've fostered for nearly the children's entire lives.
"When they license you, they recommend that you do both foster and adoption, just for this reason," Sarah Reyelts said. "We're 40. We didn't plan to have babies again. When you have a baby for two years and they're calling you mom and dad, there's really no other option. And there never really was."
The Reyelts family is one of 46 licensed foster families in the Mitchell area, according to Tia Kafka, communications director for the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS). Of those, the Reyelts family is one of 29 that are licensed to provide long-term foster care. Currently, there are 33 children in foster care in the Mitchell area.
The Reyelts said they've seen an increase in the number of foster families since they first became licensed several years ago, but that there will always be a need.
Beginning with her State of the State address on Jan. 8, Gov. Kristi Noem has referenced that need. During that address, she said that on Christmas, 940 children were in foster care.
"The next generation of South Dakotans cannot thrive if they don't have a home, which is why I've committed my podium and my influence this year to emphasize the situation of South Dakota kids in foster care," Noem wrote in a statement emailed to The Daily Republic earlier this week. "Every child deserves a home."
We could not agree more with Governor Noem on this point; every child needs a home, whether it's with their birth parents, foster parents or adoptive parents. A home is not just a place to sleep, it's a place to belong, a place to feel safe and cared for. That is the foundation for creating an environment where children can develop and grow.
Are you interested in becoming a resource family? Click here to find out more.
What we need from your family is to:
- Provide a Safe, Stable & Warm Environment For Children Newborn To 21
- Help With Homework
- Provide Emotional Support
- Guide Children Through Normal Growth Situations And Issues
- Help Build A Positive Social Foundation
- Provide Advice And Assistance With Resumes And Job Searches
- Point Out Children’s Strengths & Provide A Safe Environment To Work
- Assist With Health Concerns
- Talk About Safety Issues
- Provide A Loving Environment On A Short Or Long-Term Basis