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Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.

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Why I Foster: A foster parent's story

One foster parent's story of giving back,

By: Courtney Edge-Mattos

May is National Foster Care Month.  It is a month to reflect upon the confusing system that is foster care, to keep children in care, foster parents, biological parents, foster siblings (the children of foster parents), foster care workers, judges, lawyers, GALs, CASA workers, and everyone else in your thoughts.  And for some of our foster parents, it is the right time to reflect back upon why they choose to foster.  

Mama B is one of our amazing, strong foster mums and here is the story she shared with us for National Foster Care Month.

For most of my adult life I knew I wanted to be a foster parent.  When I was a kid I met someone who stepped in, someone who took me under their wing and for years took me in and out of their home.  It wasn’t a full time thing or a permanent thing, but it was always there when I needed it. There were times when it was for weeks, other times when it was only for a couple of days and in between there were phone calls and letters.  That woman and her family allowed me in and out of their home for about 5 years and though they were difficult years what I remember most is always feeling safe, loved and wanted.  When I look back now I realize how much the lessons she tried to teach me meant.  Though I can’t recall every moment or each lesson I do know this, each moment, each lesson, every phone call and every letter become a very important brick in the foundation that my life has been built on.  That woman stood by my side no matter where I was and no matter what I did. Good, bad or indifferent she was there. 

 Many years ago,  she and I were talking and for whatever reason we were talking about my rebellious teenage years and how difficult I was and I decided to ask her something I had always wondered, I asked “why did you choose to deal with all of that when you didn’t have to, when you weren’t getting paid and when I didn’t even belong to you?”  Without thought or hesitation she so simply answered “I did it because I could, because you were you and because I wanted to be blessed.”

It is largely because of that amazing woman that I chose to be a foster parent, the reason I stick with it, even on the ridiculously difficult days is because I too want to provide some of the important bricks in a child’s foundation and I too want to be blessed and I believe our blessings will not be seen in our accomplishments but in the accomplishments of the children we are raising.

To our amazing Mama B, thank you so much for sharing not just your story, but your heart and home.  Your kiddos have grown and blossomed in your home, and we can't wait to see what wonderful things they will do in this world.

If you have been considering opening your heart and home to a child in foster care, please reach out today.

Our online inquiry form can be found at: https://family.binti.com/users/signup/jri-foster

You may email us at: homefinder@jri.org

And you may call us at: 5-8-821-7774

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