Not Everyone Has a Home for the Holidays

Greta Bain's been a foster parent for almost three years. She and her sister started taking in abused and neglected kids at the same time.

"I have an eight-year-old little boy and he is very active and he is quite special - just a very intelligent little boy," Bain said. "I also have a one-year-old baby, and he's been with me for approximately seven months."

The infant is the 20th foster child Greta has taken in. They do regular family things together like participate in school and church activities and spend time with other foster kids. In her house, each Christmas is as different as the children she celebrates it with.

"I'm always looking for that child to drop in at the last minute - Christmas Eve - so I am prepared for that because I keep extra toys around. It just really adds to your holiday season. It never takes away from it. You see it as a challenge to make sure that these kids have a special holiday season."

And she always has holiday help. Foster parents get money and toys from the Angelina County Welfare Board and the county's Foster Parent Association. Some birth parents also buy presents for their children.

"Children are very resilient, and they immediately bond with the foster parent because that is their lifeline, that is all they have. What I do is try to find a particular tradition that they celebrated in their home and I celebrate that in my holiday season."

Foster parents can be single or married and, depending on the size of your home, you can foster up to six kids at a time.

Potential foster parents must attend training classes and meet certain qualifications. For more information, call (936) 633-3711.

You can also make a donation to the Angelina County Foster Parent Association. All donations go toward local foster families.