Join The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center in celebrating #nationalfostercaremonth throughout all of May!
Want to know how you can help? Attend our upcoming “Spring into Foster Care!” community event and enjoy free food, a visit from the Pittsburgh Penguin mascot, ICEBURGH from 12PM-1PM, activities for kids, live music, door prizes and so much more!
Melissa, a social worker at The Children’s Home, travels to Jonathan’s foster home to help with his adjustment. Together, they look through his Lifebook, which documents his history and journey through foster care. The house is modest, warm and friendly; a welcome party of golden retrievers and other canine companions immediately make you feel right at home. And yet, this typical home has far more significance to Jonathan. At 12 years old, this is the first stable family he’s ever had.
Jonathan’s life has been hard. After meeting him, however, you wouldn’t know it. He’s a sweet, polite kid, and for the first time in his life he gets to go to school. He knows, thanks to his new foster parents, he won’t be going to bed with an empty stomach. Jonathan talks about his favorite superheroes – Spiderman, Superman, Batman; he hardly realizes he’s tougher than all of them.
The Children’s Home’s goal is to help kids like Jonathan find permanent living situations. That means working with children in the foster care system one-on-one to prepare them emotionally and practically (what to expect) from their new family, even after they are placed. In this visit, Melissa meets with Jonathan to help him understand his past, answer questions, give him a voice, and provide perspective on his future. She’s also there to support his foster family, ready to provide parenting techniques that lift barriers to Jonathan’s adjustment.
It takes six months before Jonathan can legally be adopted, but he’s well on his way. “The moment we met Jonathan, we knew he was going to be our kid. It just feels so right,” his foster mom comments. “He comes home from school and wants to play videogames, ride his bike. He calls us Mom and Dad,” she says.
It seems, deep down, that Jonathan really wants this. Only an hour after meeting his foster parents, he commented they would make a great forever family. Jonathan sees what life can be with a loving family. His foster parents, now on the road to becoming his adoptive parents, want nothing more than to give that to him.