Therapeutic Foster Care

It’s OK To Get Attached

From a young age, Anne Powell knew she would become a foster parent. “In third grade I was reading a book about a little boy who was in a foster home,” Anne said. “It was always in the back of my mind.” But Anne never made the conscious decision to foster kids with medical needs. She simply found herself welcoming kids that needed medical support routinely. Then she discovered that MENTOR Maryland had a program designed to support her in that journey. “I wouldn’t have thought myself able to do that,” said Anne. “But I could do it and I did. The coordinators that I’ve had at MENTOR are always really responsive.”

Anne with daughter Damari.

Finding Purpose After Loss

Now Anne has been a foster parent for over 30 years. Her journey has been difficult. She lost her husband, but decided to continue fostering as a single parent.

“It was what I needed to do with my life,” said Anne. “It’s my purpose or my calling.”

She has also lost a child. From infancy, her Damari was no stranger to hospitals. Anne adopted Damari from foster care and supported her during many overnight stays in the hospital when she had her first liver transplant at 9-months-old and later experienced complications. “We had the best relationship a mom and daughter could have. She was a feisty, sassy little girl.” Anne shared stories of Damari convincing the busy nurses in the hospital to play cards or telling older kids in the home that she was their aunt so they had to listen to her. “She was so strong she didn’t let it bother her.”

Giving Her Whole Heart

Damari’s passing “was difficult, is difficult, will always be difficult” said Anne, but she continues to give her whole heart to fostering anyway. She is connected to other foster parents in the Medically Fragile Program and will take the kids to a restaurant or park with another Mentor who has experienced a similar loss and knows what she is going through.

Anne is a biological mother as well as a foster and adoptive mother, and reminds herself that you never know when your biological child is going to have a medical issue, you just take it in stride.

“I probably would say years ago when I did it not to get too attached. But I wouldn’t say that anymore. You need to be attached. They need to feel that.”

Make a Difference for Kids with Medical Needs

Learn more about how you can make a difference like Anne for kids with medical needs as a Mentor foster parent.


Therapeutic Foster Care