Duncan… The Magazine Winter 2018 - Page 29

state custody. Of this group, a little over half are placed with extended family, or have “kinship” placements. The remaining children are in need of foster homes. The Initiative also reports more than 350 children are “legally free,” or in layman’s terms, are ready for adoption. In total, the state has well over 1,000 children who are looking for their forever homes. Deciding to be a foster parent is not an easy decision. The children awaiting placement are struggling with extreme trauma, they have been ripped away from the only home they know, told their parents are bad and are forced to conform to new rules and a new home. I can only imagine the fear, anxiety, anger, and wariness these children experience. When you decide to open your home to foster children, you must be prepared to deal with these emotions, food issues, possible bed wetting, or recovery from horrific injuries or traumas. Choosing this path is a highly rewarding path, the children you foster will forever change your heart. I was not able to gather any information from DHS about Christmas programs for the children. I think the fact I am with the press scared many of them off. Yet, I was determined to not give up, to pursue this article and hopefully inspire the families of Stephens County to take the step and become a foster family. I thought the best thing I could do is interview a Foster family and share with you the rewards and joys they share. Comfort Kiedel and Katy McDaniel have been foster parents for almost 9 months. This is not the first time Comfort has been a foster parent. Five years ago, she adopted her first to foster daughters. Katy and Comfort made the leap this spring when asked to foster a teen girl who they had previously known, this kinship placement lead them to pursue full-time foster parenthood. They passed the tests, and their home has been approved for three children. They currently are DUNCAN MAGAZINE | WINTER 2018 29