In Honor of Florida Foster Family Appreciation Week
February 11- 15, 2019 is Florida Foster Family Appreciation Week. It is a week to shine the spotlight on the vital and often difficult role that foster parents play in the lives of children who are in the midst of upheaval. I spoke with Shawna Boudreaux about her experience. Shawna has a winding tale of experience in the child welfare system and this experience has enabled her to be a wise advocate for the foster care system and the Guardian ad Litem Program. She has been featured in the past as an Angel in Our Midst on WEAR TV and in our Guardian ad Litem marketing campaigns.
As a child, her and her 4 siblings were removed from their home. Over the next several years, Shawna would spend time in five different foster homes, some good/some bad, before being adopted by her last placement: Lynne Johnson, a single mom. As a foster child in Lynnne’s home, Shawna remembers the love and acceptance she felt from Lynne’s large extended family as well as the fact that Lynne was open to Shawna having an open relationship with her biological siblings.
That sense of belonging to a family who loved her unconditionally, even prior to being adopted, is one of the most beautiful gifts foster families can give to the children in their care. The gift of acceptance has been one of the reasons Shawna has become such a strong proponent of fostering. She speaks to various groups about her experience in the hopes that others will embrace the role. Someday she too will foster, and that is the greatest testimony to the impact it had on her.