We Need More Homes for Teenagers!

Lengenfelder
Foster family
Baxter County

In Feb of 2017 we were called about taking a teen girl placement.

At the time my daughters 12 and 15 and I had no plan on adding a teenager to the mix.  We had taken infants to 5 year olds and that worked for our family.

We had just taken a 5 year old, and then 2 days later a 2 day old. So when they called me a week later about 16 year old girl, I said no.  They asked if I would just meet her.

We met at Wendys and ordered food. She came across as a very angry girl. But something just told me to take a chance with her, and I am so glad I did.

It started out slow, but as we had our family evening dinners, she became a part of our family.  We went to church together on Wednesdays and Sundays. We went on outings together. She went on 3 vacations with us, including visiting family.  One to Alaska, also to Maryland and Washington DC and then also to Kentucky and the beach in North Carolina.

I was there for when her boyfriend of over 2 years, broke up with her (I knew she would be better without him). She got her first job, started saving money, got her permit, was able to buy a car and then got her driver’s license.

When she came to us, she was failing 2 classes and the rest were D’s and C’s. By the time she left, she had 2 A’s and Bs and Cs. Not only was it rewarding, but I gained another daughter.  She has not seen her father since she was 5, and he is incarcerated.  Her mom moved to California a few months after she moved in our home. We were her family.

She was with us 1 month shy of 2 years.  She had turned 18, and a friend asked her to move in with her. Against my better judgement she did. but soon realized on her own that it was not a good decision, so she moved out and got her own apartment.  She went on to graduate high school. She has been promoted on her job, and I am very proud of the young lady she has become.

I wonder what all of our lives would have been like, if our paths had not crossed. If we had not said yes, she was facing going to a group home hours away.  Would she have excelled???

I encourage all foster families to consider giving teens a chance. We really have the best chance of impacting the next generation, when we say yes.