A Job Not Yet Done
“We both said yes!” That enthusiastic response was the best possible outcome on the day that Shyrene and Chasity first met to discuss the possibility of a new foster placement.
Chasity was 15 years old and living in a local group home when Shyrene first came into her life. While she was safe and cared for there, Shyrene understood that the best scenario for all children and teenagers in foster care is for them to live in a home with a family. Shyrene also knew that it is especially difficult to place teens, and that she wanted to provide that home for a teenager in need. So she began the process of becoming a foster parent.
Since their first meeting at Panera, the two have become quite the pair. Shyreneâ€™s impact is especially evident in how Chasity has responded to her foster momâ€™s encouragement to be her best self. Shyrene glowingly says, â€œWhen Chasity first came to live with me, she was shy, quiet, and terrified in a lot of ways; but it was obvious that she had a good spirit and a good heartâ€. Of Shyrene, Chasity jokes, â€œI liked her because she was funny and bought me coffee. She also had a cool car.â€
In her role as parent, one thing that Shyrene has been adamant about is that Chasity remained active during the summer months. Taking that advice to heart, Chasity has spent the past three summers volunteering at City Church Academy. After racking up over 2000 volunteer hours, this summer she expanded her role, taking on the job of bible teacher for kids ages 3 to 12.
Inspired by her time helping her grandmother as she battled cancer, Chasity will begin studying at Seminole State in the fall. She aspires to become a pediatric RN at a childrenâ€™s hospital.
Shyrene is deservedly proud of the progress Chasity has made and the fine adult sheâ€™s becoming. She stresses that one of the things sheâ€™s loved most about her foster parent experience is watching Chasityâ€™s growth over the years. And, even though Chasity has turned 18, Shyrene knows that her job is not done. Chasity will continue to live with Shyrene as she attends college, and she knows that her foster mom is committed to helping her forge her path ahead.
â€œI really enjoy being a foster mom,â€ Shyrene says. â€œThere is a lot to parenting a kid in foster care, especially a teenager. I have a lot left to do to prepare her for college and her career.â€
If you are thinking about fostering, consider welcoming a teenager into your heart and home. Finding foster families for this vulnerable age group is particularly difficult, but helping to prepare a young adult for long term success is extraordinarily rewarding. As Shyrene will quickly tell you, bonding with one of our emerging young adults will bring you unspeakable joy.
To find out more, please give us a call at 1-866-90CHILD or visit www.cbccfl.org/nextsteps.