The Fowlers: Fostering as a Family
When the Fowlers considered starting this foster care journey, it was a decision they discussed as a family. “The very first time my parents raised the idea of becoming a foster family for MENTOR Maryland, I think I was about 6-years-old. I remember having questions about what that meant, but I also recall being excited and eager for the chance to have another sibling,” said Taira Fowler. Taira has had many siblings over the years and as she grew up, she grew in her understanding of being a foster sister.
It’s a running joke in my family that when asked how many siblings or children we have, the answer is always ‘Hold on, let me recount.’ But in the end you have the validity knowing you did all you could to be the best sister that you could be.
Now the family has been fostering for over twenty years! “Over that time we have shared simple things that mean the most,” said matriarch of the family Terry Fowler. “Whether that be taking their first step at the age of 8, being discharged from specialty doctors, most of all returning home to a family member or being adopted.”
From Foster to Forever Family
The youngest member of the family, Emmalee, was adopted from care and is now growing into her role as a Fowler foster sister. “In our family, we have had lots of kids come in for long and short time periods. But in the end, it counts that we helped them,” said Emmalee. “To me, foster care means that you can have a family that will call and treat you like their own.”
Maygen Fowler was also adopted from care as a child and is now thriving as a young adult. She agrees wholeheartedly with her sister. “It’s important when you become a foster parent that you do it out of love and treat them as you would your own child,” said Maygen. “We need more people who have loving hearts who will help kids when no one else can. Will you be that loving person? Can you open your home to kids who need your help?”
Treat Them Like Your Own
“Personally, I think that there should be more foster parents,” said Emmalee. Learn how you can support children like Emmalee in care!
Foster Parents Aren’t Perfect
The Fowlers know first-hand that sometimes things might get challenging or scary. And they know that that’s ok. “Through it all we have learned to take it one day at a time,” said Terry. “Take a break, use our supports, talk it out, apologize when needed, take a walk, and remember that no family is perfect.”