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'The most challenging and rewarding thing we've done': Fostering relationships through the foster care system

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Posted at 5:35 AM, May 08, 2023

NOBLESVILLE— “They are lovely, wonderful tiny little humans that need care and love and we can do that.”

Ahead of Mother’s Day we are celebrating moms, especially the non-traditional mom.

Becoming a foster parent means giving a child stability and support, but most importantly a safe place, clothes on their back, food in their bellies just the bare necessities.

The title comes with highs and lows but as Julia Eckrich told our Kelsey Anderson, every second is worth it.

“It’s the most challenging and most rewarding thing that we've ever done,” Eckrich said.

Julia Eckrich and her husband Andrew have been foster parents for three years.

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Julia Eckrich has been a Foster Mom for three years

“We’ve had the privilege of bringing about 10 kids through our care at different times and right now we have two,” Eckrich said. “This was something that has kind of always been our heart."

Led by their faith, the Eckrich’s got certified to be foster parents through Bethany Christian Services.

“It's like a little bit chaotic because there isn't a ton of notice. That's what you're saying yes to. You're saying yes to radically living one way and choosing this and so it was, it was a big step to say yes. A lot of paperwork but a lot of good that comes from it in the end,” Eckrich said.

Their main goal as foster parents is to reunite the giggly, happy children with their families.

“There are usually lots of tears (when they leave),” Eckrich said.

She said the difference they’re making in a child’s life softens the blow.

"My husband and I are here to love them in the moment and care for them while they're here and we know that maybe some of the seeds that we're planting will grow into beautiful flowers someday,” Eckrich said.

As a mother figure to many, even if just for a short time, Mother’s Day doesn’t go by without a celebration.

“It’s not the traditional mother and what that looks like, but you know. We celebrate the gifts that we've been given, and the children entrusted to our care,” Eckrich said.

Her message to anyone thinking about becoming a foster parent is to just try it.

“You don't have to do it for 10 kids or twenty kids or thirty kids but you could do it for one or two you know. There's constantly like thousands of children in the system that need a good place to go,” Eckrich said.

And she said know you’ll be better because of it.

“It will be challenging you will learn things about how you function and buttons you didn't know could be pushed but you're better because of it,” Eckrich said.

To become a Foster Parent, you must be:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Be licensed through DCS.
  • Pass a background check
  • Have sufficient space in your home for a child and pass other inspections.

You can learn more about fostering through Bethany Christian Services here.