Being A Transitional Foster Parent While Living With Lung Cancer

Back in 2019 my husband was approached by a pastor that we know and asked him if we would consider becoming transitional foster parents. My husband said, "Sure what does it entail?" The pastor handed him a flyer and we attended the orientation.

How can we help others?

I remember sitting there and listening to the stories of these young kids making their way to the United States for a better life, for a chance and I was in awe. At that moment my husband and I knew we needed to do this, but I remember asking them if we would be accepted because I have stage 4 lung cancer and they told me ABSOLUTELY! I knew right there and then that this was meant to be, and we were going to bless these children.

Creating a new home for children

It took about two months of training and we got certified. We were so looking forward to receiving kids, but the pandemic happened, and it was on hold for about a year. My husband and I were so disappointed because we were looking forward to it, but we knew that everyone’s health was a priority, so we waited patiently for that call.

Well, the call finally came it was January of 2021 and we got our first boys from Guatemala, Beckham and Alex ages 16. Not going to lie we were a bit nervous, but I think we were more excited than anything. The boys stayed with us for a little over a month. The relationship and bond we developed are priceless. These boys endured a lot of trauma, poverty, escaped the crime in their country, and escaped being forced into the gang/drug life. They shared some stories with us and all I could do at that moment was cry. The stories of these young children crossing our borders are so sad and so heartbreaking. I’m just so happy that we said yes to becoming transitional foster parents to help these children.

Helping our foster children adjust to a new life

Beckham and Alex were amazing young men that would tell us their dreams and hopes in this country. We would stay up and watch movies, they loved to go outside and play, and yes it was in the middle of winter. But they never experienced the cold nor the snow. So, they were outside in the middle of winter playing soccer in my backyard. When the snow came, they were out there playing in the snow, helping my husband shovel and they even went sledding. They loved to eat, so off we went to different restaurants and they got to try all kinds of foods. They couldn’t believe all the different foods we had here. I explained to them that this country is a melting pot, so we have food from all over the world here and they loved that!

We gave these boys a loving experience and I told them not everyone is kind and loving in this country, but you continue to move forward, learn English, study hard and become successful in whatever you chose as a career. If people are rude and mean you always show them kindness and love because love will always win. We gave them the best advice we could, and I hope and pray their destiny and future is a safe and successful one!

Giving my life purpose after lung cancer

When the boys left and got reunited with their family here in the USA it was very hard for me. I cried so much as if I lost a child. Those boys will always have my heart because they were the first ones. We still keep in touch and we’ve fostered 6 more kids after Alex and Beckham, 1 from Guatemala, 2 from Ecuador, and 3 from Honduras.

I want to thank La Jornada from National Youth Advocate Program for saying yes to a lung cancer survivor/patient. This has changed my life and given me a purpose. So, you see you still can do many things while living with lung cancer. There’s no limit!

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