My family’s experiences with the foster care system were unforgettable. One of my favorite youth was a boy named Shane. Shane came from a different country under the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program through Catholic Community Services. He was the sweetest 16 year old boy I had ever met. We picked him up from the airport late at night.
Shane loved electricity from his very first night in the United States. He loved turning lights on and off. He was introduced to the flashlight by the end of his first week and I will never forget the look on his face the first time he saw the light shine from the end of the foreign object.
We knew he was turning into an American when he asked us for a cell phone and a job. He was determined to send money to his family in Africa, although we doubted that this was possible. He was a hard-worker and determined to make a good life for himself. He became more and more like a teenager and asked for Ipods and laptops and made plans for college.
Foster care forever changed my life and the life of my family. My own children learned from Shane and others to value diversity and differences. They learned that stereotypes and discrimination is wrong and hurtful. The lessons my six year old gained from our fostering experience is priceless.
If your family has the desire to change a life and love a teenager, there are several agencies in Utah. Utah needs foster parents who will open their homes to state youth and refugee youth. Ensign Peak Services is currently looking for foster parents. If you are interested in working with a refugee youth from other countries, They need foster parents who will love and support refugee youth while being financially reimbursed for the care they receive. If interested, contact Ensign Peak or at 801-982-1404
Information and picture from Casherie Bright at Ensign Peak Services. No compensation was received for this post.