SAN ANTONIO – Joy is a feeling every child deserves, but some children who have experienced trauma don’t feel that until they land in a safe home.
“We’ve been foster parents since 2020, so a little over three years now. And it originally started with us having infertility issues and then wanting to wanting to be a family,” said Misty Rodriguez, a foster parent.
Misty and Mark Rodriguez have had as many as seven foster children come through their home in one year.
“We had one at a time, or the most we had was two at a time. But it didn’t feel overwhelming. It felt really good to have the kids in our home,” Misty said.
They said that’s because of the Children’s Shelter foster programs.
Misty and Mark went through training and have felt support through the entire journey.
“Every time somebody would come into our home from the Children’s Shelter, one of the first things they asked us is, ‘Do you need anything?’ If you needed diapers or a car seat,” Misty said.
While fostering can be tough at times, the couple said the intangible gift they’ve been able to give is worth every second.
“You don’t know at that point they’ve ever even felt love or a healthy environment. So you’re now established to provide it for them,” Mark said.
They’ve already adopted 2-year-old Mia and are in the process of adopting another toddler.
They hope other families will make the call to learn about the Children’s Shelter foster program.
The Children’s Shelter currently has 64 kids in foster homes and desperately need more foster homes.
“The financial model for the child welfare system in Texas was created over 35 years ago based on a system of 5,000 to 6.,000 children. Today there are over 20,000 children in care,” Children’s Shelter Interim CEO LaRhesa Moon said.
That’s why Moon hopes anyone even considering fostering will contact the Children’s Shelter to see the flexibility and support offered.
“We loved that we were able to kind of go at our own pace, whether we wanted to go really quickly or we wanted to go really slowly,” Misty said.
And it sounds like they’re probably not done fostering.
“I want to keep going forever!” Misty laughed. “We might take a pause, but we definitely want to keep going. I don’t think we’re ready to stop!”
While foster families are needed, people can help in many other ways. That could be babysitting, helping with transportation, clothing donations, or simply monetary donations.
Moon said all donations are welcomed no matter how big or small. But if you want to contribute a smaller amount on a monthly basis you can join the Angel Program.
“So, if it’s difficult at this time with all the expenses at one time to make a donation, you can support us on an ongoing monthly basis, which for us is actually very helpful because we know if it’s a dollar, $5, or $500 a month, we know that’s coming in on a regular basis,” Moon said.
KSAT is holding a phone bank to collect donations for the Children’s Center and educate the community about these programs.