They didn’t think it would end up like this.
The Webers have 7 children: 2 biological, 2 adopted, and 3 foster care. But everyone is family.
“Families don’t have to match,” says Christina Weber. What matters is that kids get a safe and loving home.
Christina and Jeremy Weber started fostering about four years ago. Christina tells the story of how she first heard about foster care.
The family was about to go camping and had stopped at McDonald’s for some food. They realized there weren’t enough fries, so Christina sent her daughter back in to get more. As they waited in the car, she heard a knock on her window – it was a woman they didn’t know.
“I’ve seen you [around town], have you ever thought of being foster parents?” the woman asked.
It turned out the woman worked to license foster families, and had noticed the Weber family before. Christina and Jeremy had never considered fostering, but after that conversation they started to learn more.
Awhile later, the Weber’s daughters went on a trip out of state. Christina began to get lonely and realized she wanted more kids in her life. So, she and Jeremy got licensed as a foster family.
Christina says it’s rewarding to see the progress the kids make. Just recently, two of the girls – who were working on getting along better – did a few chores together for the first time.
“Everyone is siblings… some days are fantastic, other days… oh man.”
Therapeutic foster care through Community Connections helps kids with mental health or behavioral challenges have a safe and supportive home to learn and grow.
Getting a new house isn’t a necessity for fostering. It really depends on how many children you have. The Webers decided to remodel their home to better accommodate all the kids and got a special 12-passenger van.
“When we go to the grocery store, they just flood out of the van,” she says.
The family does lots of outdoor activities together: hiking, fishing, gathering cedar for weaving, swimming, 4-wheeling, beachcombing, soccer.
Christina enjoys being an advocate for the kids. Therapeutic foster parents receive quite a bit of training, but a lot of lessons are learned from just living and being with each kid.
“They’ve taught me a lot too,” she says.
If you’re thinking about fostering, good things to do are to know your strengths and weaknesses, and be open-minded, and spend time with kids.
“It’s hard and heartbreaking… and amazing.”