It takes a very strong person to be a foster parent. It takes strength, determination. It takes a willingness to stand up and be an advocate for the children in care. Unfortunately across the country, there is a shortage of foster families and too many children without homes. But for one couple Annette and Andrew Mays are making a huge impact for foster children in their area.

Annette and Andrew have been foster care parents and advocates for over 20 years, according to this newspaper article. When their biological children were six and eight, they started talking about the idea of becoming foster parents. They had recently moved from the city to the country and had a lot of room for children to run and play.

Initially, Annette and Andrew become respite providers, meaning they provided short-term care for foster children, giving a respite or reprieve for the foster parents. During that time, they took care of three brothers every three weeks for long weekends.

After doing respite care for children, they decided to open their home to foster care. Their first placement was three children, and they stated, “Our home suddenly became very alive and full of laughter and sunny days in the garden with happy faces and group fun.”

What does it take to be a foster parent? According to this article, first, you must make the decision and have the want and desire to become a foster parent. There are certain qualifications you must obtain prior to becoming a foster parent such as passing background checks and a home inspection. Also, there will be education courses and training that you will need to attend. If you have doubts, questions, or uncertainties, reach out and learn first-hand experiences from other foster families.

Presently, Annette and Andrew are fostering three girls. They know the importance of keeping siblings together if at all possible. Sibling relationships are so very important. The siblings find strength and comfort in being together. Annette and Andrew have no plans to stop fostering anytime soon. Annette stated, “Life’s never dull, and that’s just the way I like it.”