Not every kid in the foster care system is lucky to get adopted.
And for those people in the foster care system who wants to take a child under their care, this is something that is definitely rewarding, even if that means that they will only have these kids with them for a limited period of time.
Three years ago, Katie Holstein from Kentucky finally wanted to experience how it is like to be a mom. On the story that she shared with Love What Matters, she wrote, “I started the process to become licensed as a foster parent in January of 2017. I wanted to be a mom, and I was tired of waiting around for Mr. Right to make it happen. I figured I would foster for several years, help reunite some families, and maybe eventually get to say yes to forever.”
Then a couple of months later, she became a foster parent. She did not wait that long to be given the chance to take care of her first foster child. The same day that she got approved, she met these siblings who needed foster care. She said, “Overnight, I became a first-time mom to a newborn, 1-year-old, and 2-year-old. It was terrifying and also everything I imagined it would be and more.”
And since then, Katie fostered a total of 16 children!
In fact, she ended up adopting one of them – Thomas “Tiny” Holstein. The journey to adopting Tiny was not easy for Katie. It took over a year to be legalized.
And after legally adopted Tiny, another girl came to her home. She said, “I got the call on March 9, 2019, from my favorite social worker. She said, ‘I know you don’t do teens, but I have this girl. She’s great, her and her current foster family just need a break. What about just for the weekend?’”
And this is when Katie met Akyra or “Okra.”
She immediately loved Okra and even the other foster kids love her too. But with Tiny and four other foster kids in her care who are all under 5-years-old, Katie felt that she was not ready to take another foster child. So they made an arrangement. She allowed Okra to stay with her every other week for the entire year. And after fully knowing Okra, Katie finally decided to foster her, full-time.
At this time, Okra was only 16-years-old. She told Katie that she wanted to live with her until she is 18-years-old. By then, she will be legally allowed to be out of the foster system. At first, Okra only wanted to stay with her until she graduates high school. Then, she will be moving out and would live independently. But after spending a lot of time together, the two grew even closer.
Then one day, Okra asked Katie if she would ever consider adopting a teenager. Not all foster parents would want to adopt a teenager, and that is probably what bothered Okra. but right then and there, Katie did not hesitate and told her she will.
Then 3 months before Okra turned 17, Katie is officially her mom!
Katie said, “You don’t need to have it all together. God knows I didn’t.” Katie knows too well that being a foster mom to children who are not your flesh and blood is not easy. But Katie is hoping that their story will inspire more people to open their homes to fostering.