INDIANAPOLIS — May is Foster Care Awareness month and right now in Indiana more than 13,000 children are waiting for a family to make a life changing decision.
John and Kara Huskey moved to Indianapolis a few years ago.
Their dream home had more bedrooms than they could fill, so they decided instead of filling the rooms with stuff, they wanted to fill them with children who needed a safe place to call home.
“If we had this much space, we had to use it for good purposes and not just to collect stuff,” Kara Huskey said.
They knew they needed to make a difference in the community.
“Whatever ages and whatever genders they come as but we would like to keep sibling groups together that's the only thing that's the only requirement we put on it,” Kara said.
They filled out the foster parent paperwork and soon had four siblings filling those empty bedrooms.
“We haven't had them very long and I thought, you know, we should have a nice breakfast on Saturday morning," Kara said. "No rush, no school or anything so I made Belgian waffles. They had never had waffles in their lives and the littlest one like every morning for weeks after as soon as eyes pop open 'waffles, waffles are we having waffles?'”
They tell WRTV they’ve watched the four children in their care experience so many firsts and they look forward to helping them experience more.
“Each time I was asking them to stretch and try something new, I would be like, remember waffles were new once and they turned out to be good and can't trust me this is a new thing but it doesn't mean it's going to be bad,” Kara said.
The Huskeys said while the kids are experiencing new things, so are they.
“I've enjoyed having these kids just being able to show security love and care and support,” John said, “I mean it's challenging on that daily basis but it's also rewarding.”
They said you don’t have to have the perfect home to be a good foster parent.
“Is our home perfect? No. Are we perfect? No. Do we have to have any special qualifications to do this? No, not any more so than we did having our own children, but even on your worst day even on your worst day it's still better,” Kara said.
The Huskeys are fostering through Bethany Christian Services.
Bethany helps connect them with more resources, more support and more opportunities.
Tamara Timm said they need more people like the Huskeys to become foster parents.
“We are always in need of families who are willing to take that next step," Timm said. "I think a lot of the past few years people have are now coming out of those the last few years wondering what's next and I just say now is the time now is the time to get involved now is the time to care for children."
If you aren’t ready to foster there are ways you can support a foster family, whether it’s helping with chores, providing a meal or a fun experience for the family to do.
You can learn more about becoming a foster parent or supporting a family here.