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The Joys of Foster Parenting


Written by: Iris Kelley, M.S.


With so much negativity being posted on social media recently, it is refreshing to see how one Necco of Grayson foster mother used it to share the joys of fostering. Misty Kouns sat down recently to pen a message to the facebook community about her foster parenting experience. And she did it from the heart.

"Not long after Ryan and I married, we knew our hearts were positioned for foster care. It was a calling, if you will. We weren't finished praying about or trying for our own biological children. But, after we were halfway through the process to become foster parents, we found out we were expecting our second child. We decided to halt everything. However, as soon as our daughter was born, we knew we were ready. She was only nine months old when our home opened. That call with the first referral was terrifying-are we going to be able to do this? We said “yes” to a teenage boy who would be placed for only a few weeks until his court date. We were mostly receiving teen boys referred through the Department of Juvenile Justice at that time. Shortly after our third child was born, we started fostering teen girls. Basically we have fostered a range of children, from teen boys to 12 year old girls.

Fast forward a few years. After around 10 foster care placements and a few temporary respite cases, we were asked 'are you open to adoption?' We were stunned because it hadn't even crossed our minds. But the answer was a definite 'yes'.

There have been times when we've wanted to pull our hair out, when we were asked hard questions as to 'why', where we weren't quite sure how we'd have enough of ourselves to go around. But God has been faithful over and over again.

So many have said 'I could never do that' or 'it would hurt too much to see them leave', etc. The reality is, the need for foster parents is great. If not me, then who?

We joke often that our family is the epitome of dysfunction. I am no Betty Crocker mom.

I lose my temper, get frustrated and forget today is ice cream day for school. But, because we said yes; children who needed us have had a safe haven. They've had a safe place to ask hard questions. They've had a chance to see things from a new perspective. We've been able to speak truth, and life, and discipline into lives even of children that have been otherwise labeled as "bad" by the system. Our hopes are that every single one of them will look back on the time with our family and smile and remember good. When they've returned to their families we've been sad for a moment, but we are happy for them. If given the opportunity to do it all over again, we'd say “yes”.

If you've ever given foster care a thought, or wanted to grow your family through adoption; let's talk."

Misty Kouns is a foster mother with Necco of Grayson, Kentucky. She and her husband, Ryan, have opened their home to 10 foster children in their 3 years of fostering.

If you have ever considered foster parenting but weren't sure how to get started, reach out to us. As experts of all things foster care, we will provide you with the education and unmatched support system you need to begin building your family. We also happen to know some awesome foster parents who can give you a pretty touching testimony...