A Devoted Foster Father’s Journey: Giving Love is the Priceless Gift that Changes Lives
14th of June 2018
Nearly 100 times a day, a child in California is placed in foster care. Los Angeles County alone “parents” over 33,000 abused and neglected foster youth. At Trinity Youth Services, we highlight our dedicated parents who have made the choice to help a child in need by providing them with the love and safety they need and deserve. In this, one of our current foster parents, Art Unzueta, shares his powerful story about his fostering experience. Did you know that engaged foster fathers can have an enormous influence on children? Their presence impacts their self-esteem, academic success and other areas of their lives.
A devoted foster parent who hopes to encourage others to open their homes to neglected children, Art and his wife started fostering in February 2016. According to Art, “We had a 17-year-old for four or five months, now we have Q. He’s been here for two years and four months, and he’s not going anywhere,” he laughed.
Art became interested in becoming a foster parent because he noticed a great need for caring parents. “We love children. We really want to give back. Our kids are grown up. It’s harder to help a child who wasn’t born of your own blood. We see so many kids that need a good home,” Art said.
Although the word ‘challenging’ may come to mind when people contemplate the idea of fostering, there are big rewards from giving love to a child. According to Art, “The love we get from the child is like having our own. Our foster child calls me ‘Papi.’ He melts me. To know I have a little human being in our care melts me away. I can give him something he may not have had otherwise,” he said.
Although there is a lot of information online stating how people can become foster parents, some people have become hesitant about going through the foster care process. For those who want to foster, but haven’t taken the leap, Art has this to say:
“Open your hearts, realize how much you can change and save someone’s life. It’s so rewarding! Initially, I was hesitant about the experience because you hear horror stories about children you don’t know. However, the children don’t come from the best backgrounds, so why be scared to make a difference? I accepted that what I can do changes lives. The good things in life are not always easy.”
With hundreds of foster care and adoptions agencies to choose from, Art discusses why he chose Trinity Youth Services. “We were referred by someone and we had an amazing experience. Everyone at Trinity were helpful and supportive. I love you guys! You’ve been amazing!”
For more tips on foster parenting, self-care and raising happy families, stay connected by signing up for our newsletter below.