NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Many children in foster care have experienced adversity, some trauma, and all of this can make them more vulnerable to changes the pandemic has caused. Foster parent Wendi Wallace, who is also the president of East Texas Foster Family Association said she’s been a foster parent for 14 years.
“I know a lot of kids, the biggest thing is not getting to see family members face to face. If they’re working for reunification, a lot of the visits are through Zoom,” Wallace said. “And that’s not the same as seeing your mom or your dad face to face, especially when you’re little. You don’t get that hug, you don’t get that touch that you really want.”
Wallace said it’s been a struggle at times as a parent too. She misses the in-person interactions that she had with other foster parents, and her children miss being with others in a similar situation.
“They knew once a month on Friday nights they’d have a group of kids that got it. That they understood, you’re living with somebody that’s not your mom but you call them mom because you’re in foster care,” Wallace said. “Not getting together, not being able to have that fellowship or that support with each other is a big struggle right now.”
They have a total of six foster children, five are siblings, and Wallace said there has been some benefits to being home.
“There wasn’t the hustle and bustle, and go of everyday life,” Wallace said. “So them just being here and being able to spend that time together for an extended period of time, they really became bonded to each other.”
Wallace and the East Texas Foster Family Association are holding a Holiday Heroes in hopes to grant about 40 Christmas wishes for children in foster care.
“This year has been even more important, just because of the pandemic, of making sure that kids do have what they need, because a lot of the families, the resources that would be put towards an extravagant Christmas have been put towards other things,” Wallace said.
If you are interested in sponsoring a child, the deadline to drop off an unwrapped gift is December 11, and you can find out more by visiting https://m.facebook.com/Holiday-Heroes-in-East-Texas-110210677557253/