AUSTIN (KXAN/KNVA) — It’s one a.m. and you get a knock at your door. A stranger you have never met thrusts a six-month-old into your arms. He’s hungry. He’s dirty. He’s wearing a onesie that is three sizes too big.
This little baby is now yours, at least for now.
That is often the reality for new foster parents, who have signed up for the challenge of becoming a mom or dad, but can’t predict exactly when it will happen.
“When you do emergency placements you really don’t know a lot of times what age what gender what situation they are coming in from,” Kristin Finan said.
Finan is a foster mom. Her second foster child arrived in a party dress that didn’t fit, and with nothing else to her name. It was then Finan was inspired to start her 501(c)(3) nonprofit: Carrying Hope.
The organization’s mission is simple; provide CPS with individual bags full of toys and necessities for children of various ages and genders. When a CPS worker connects a foster child with their foster parent they bring the bag with them. This buys the foster parent a little time to get to the store, and gives the child a little bit of comfort on one of the most disruptive days of their lives.
The need to help foster children in Central Texas has never been greater. According to KXAN News, almost 50 children enter the state’s foster care system every day. Last year, more than 1,000 children aged out of the system without finding a home.
Carrying Hope has already provided hundreds of bags for kids through donation drives, and fundraising around Austin.
“These kids are the heroes,” Finan said. “The kids that go through what they go through and still touch so many lives, they’re the heroes.”
Check out their website for more information.