OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Every week, News 4 features Oklahoma children looking for their forever families – and it’s important to remember while hundreds are ready to be adopted, thousands need foster families as well.
In fact, currently more than 500 Oklahoma children are ready for adoption and more than 77-hundred are in foster care.
One family who has fostered more than 60 children is sharing their experience – hoping you can also find room in your heart and your home.
The Schiermeyer family has fostered 63 children, to be exact.
Their mission to help started in 2011 when they learned 12,000 children – at that time – needed foster families.
Picking up toys – and lifting up young Oklahomans is a way of life for Michelle Schiermeyer.
It’s an experience she says is full of joy – and heartbreak.
“Because if you’re doing it right, you do fall in love with these kiddos,” she said.
Shiermeyer says it’s not easy to say goodbye – but always so sweet when children she fosters find forever homes – or are reunited with their biological families.
DHS tries to keep the children close to home so they can build back those relationships if possible.
“Close to their kin culture and community and their local school system,” said Casey White with DHS.
Shiermeyer says the children she’s fostered are all unique with their own challenges through no fault of their own.
“Sometimes you’ll get a drug-exposed baby,” she said. “Sometimes you’ll get a child who wants nothing to do with being with you.
In all those cases – it takes time and effort to show them they’re in a safe space as they long for a home and a family.
“They just need and want somebody to love them,” Shiermeyer said.
She says if you’re thinking of fostering – don’t hesitate to help the thousands of Oklahoma children who just need someone who cares.
“Just do it,” said Shiermeyer. “It’s not all roses and sunshine but in the end it is definitely worth it.”
Families just like hers are calling on you to also help these children as they find their place to call home.
Your best shot at adopting or fostering a child is to go ahead and get the process started. It can take a few months to get approved. For all of the details contact the DHS hotline at 1-800-376-9729 or visit online.
A Place to Call Home is sponsored by True Sky Credit Union.
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