Wade Family Story

 Back to the Basics to Foster Success

“Before, I never knew so many kids were out there without families,” says Cynthia Wade, who has been fostering with her husband Robert for nine years. In Missouri, there are currently, more than 13,000 children in foster care.

 Over the years, Cynthia and Robert have continued to see the need for foster parents first-hand. And it’s why they became specially trained foster parents through our treatment foster care (TFC) program to help care for youth with elevated behavioral needs.

 The Wades recognize that youth in foster care need someone to care and teach them basic life skills. One morning, Robert woke to find Ricky*, age 15, making eggs. “He had eight eggs in the bowl, and he was cooking them for the whole house. He had water in the skillet to cook the eggs, and I told him that you don’t cook eggs with water.”

Ricky immediately felt defensive and stormed upstairs. That’s when Robert realized that Ricky probably didn’t know how to cook eggs, and just needed someone to show him how. Having handled situations like this before, Cynthia and Robert were reminded that sometimes they have to go back to the basics.

“Early on, I just assumed that just because I knew all of this, that they would know it also, but they don’t,” says Cynthia. Robert adds, “I don’t know if [Ricky] learned anything, but he did get in the car later and talked to me about it on the way to the grocery store. And he was like, ‘Yeah, I know I lost it, I don’t know what happened, but I took that too far.’ He didn’t necessarily apologize, but as a foster parent you realize that sometimes this is as close as it might get.”

 For Robert and Cynthia, they both recognize that anytime they’re able to help a young person learn a new life skill, they’re making a difference in that person’s life. “As their foster parents, we’re teaching them how to live and how to be adults later.”

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*Name has been changed to protect the child’s identity.