Regina is an extraordinary mom. She learned at an early age that she would not be able to give birth to children of her own. But she wanted a family. And she wanted to help children in need. Now Regina is foster mom to three children with special needs: two teenage sisters and a 10-month-old boy.
“I have a nephew with special needs,” Regina explains. “I have volunteered with individuals with special needs for about 15 years. They go through a lot of difficulty, and they have supportive moms and dads. I thought, what are children going through who don’t have that support?”
When Regina was ready to become a parent, her mother found Wayfinder. Two weeks after talking to the program director, Regina entered the training program for foster parents. “The process moved a lot quicker than I thought it would,” she says.
At an event for foster children, Regina met teen Liane*. “I saw a lot of myself in her,” Regina remembers. “The most amazing thing is, I got her sister, too,” says Regina. “It’s really important for siblings to stay together.”
Regina came to the Wayfinder campus with Liane’s sister, Amy*, to speak to the board of directors. When Amy walked past The Cottage, Wayfinder’s temporary shelter for children who have been recently removed from their homes, the teenager remembered being placed there. “It was so nice,” Amy recalls, “like a hotel.”
If she had a larger house, Regina would want to take in 10 kids with special needs! “When the girls are excited, it’s loud,” Regina says. “Everyone’s talking. The baby is laughing. There’s noise. The dogs are barking. For me, that’s a happy home.”
She never misses an opportunity to promote fostering and adopting children with special needs. “It’s important to not give up on these children because they need the opportunities that you and I have,” Regina explains. “They need opportunities to have a family. To know what it is to have love. To know what it’s like to go through challenges and overcome them.”
It isn’t always easy. “I have days when it’s a struggle,” says Regina. “But we get through it together. I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing.” •
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*names changed to protect privacy
September 4, 2019