Busy Chandler woman not too busy for fostering - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Busy Chandler woman not too busy for fostering

November 10th, 2021 SanTan Sun News
Busy Chandler woman not too busy for fostering
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By Katy Springer
Contributor

“Power mom” means different things to different people.

For some, she’s a make-believe superhero who can juggle all household duties without breaking a sweat. For others, a “power mom” is a fantastical creature who succeeds in a high-demand job while also raising well-mannered, well-nurtured children.

“Real” moms are wise enough to know that motherhood is often messy, difficult and overwhelming – and the real “power” comes in providing a loving, safe and stable home for their children.   

Lisa Hall is exactly that sort of power mom. Single mother to 12-year-old Liam, the Chandler resident also serves as national director for the Alzheimer’s Association. It’s a full load, but Hall believed she could do more.

Last summer, she fulfilled an important goal and became a licensed foster care provider. It was something she had long dreamed of, but the pandemic provided the impetus to make that dream a reality.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I’m never too busy to pursue the things I really care about,” said Hall. “It might seem like too much from the outside looking in, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Indeed, Hall said she has always had a place in her heart for children in need.

“I have always loved kids, and as I’ve grown older, I’ve looked for opportunities to help where I can,” she said.

When she decided she wanted to open her home to foster care, she asked Liam what he thought. He was an only child who was used to having his mom all to himself, but he warmed to the idea immediately. Hall started the process of becoming licensed soon after.

“Every single day, Liam asked me, ‘how much longer?’” she said. “He was nipping at my heels to get started!”

Hall completed her licensure on Nov. 2, 2020. Three days later, she began fostering a 6-year-old girl. She and Liam loved her immediately and provided the best home they could, but Hall makes it clear she was fighting for the girl’s mom, too.

“We loved having her in our home, but at the same time, we were pulling for her mom to do the work that was needed in order to get her daughter back,” said Lisa.

Three months later, the day came for the little girl to go home to her mom.

“I still think about her all the time,” said Hall. “Our last day together, we got up early, made pancakes, watched the movie ‘Brave’ and just enjoyed our time with her. She was so happy to be going home to her mom, but also sad to be leaving us.”

Hall and Liam had mixed emotions, too.

“We loved her and knew we would miss her, but we were also so excited for her and her mom to get a fresh start. You just want what’s best for these children.”

Since that time, Hall has provided a loving and stable home for several other children, including a 4-year-old boy who stayed for six months.

“It was tough in the beginning, but it was such a joy to watch his growth and see his little personality come through,” she said. “We got him enrolled in preschool and experienced many firsts with him. We knew we would miss him like crazy once he left our home, but we made it a point to enjoy every moment.”

During that time, Hall sold her home and bought a new one to be closer to family – as if she didn’t have enough to do.

“The home buying and selling was a bit stressful, but what can I say? I’m a Gemini,” she laughed. “The best part is that my family is close and they absolutely love being involved. It’s more people to love these beautiful kids.”

Today, Hall is fostering a 3-month old baby. He was placed in her home when he was 6 days old. And though she also works full time, she’s working from home so that she can spend ample time with the baby.

“I worked from home for three months when Liam was born, and I wanted to do the same thing for this little guy,” she said.

But when people comment about Hall’s efforts on behalf of foster children, she is quick to point that she and Liam are the ones who are benefiting most.

“Liam came up to me the other day and said, ‘I love our family,’” said Hall. “He is such a wonderful big brother to the little ones who come and stay for a time in our home. I am so grateful for these experiences and for his willingness to love and serve others.”

Hall doesn’t rule out the possibility of adoption, though she says that has never been her primary goal.

“I am here to provide a respite and a safe space for these kids until their parents are able to take care of them,” she said. “My goal is to foster families.”

Indeed, she has always prioritized communication with parents to ensure they continue to feel a part of their kids’ lives – and also to make it clear she’s on their team.

“I send photos and updates and make sure these parents know I’m going to do my best for their children.”

For now, she will continue providing a loving home for the infant who is in her care.

“As a foster parent, it’s a strange phenomenon to love these children with your whole heart, but also to want them to reunify with their parents,” she said. “I’m sitting in this space right now with this little boy. I would absolutely adopt him, but I also want his mom to be successful in getting him back.”

Calls to Arizona Department of Child Safety’s abuse and neglect hotline have spiked 25 percent in the last six months. At present, there are 13,790 youth in Arizona’s foster care system – but there are only 3,292 licensed foster homes.

It’s also the lowest number of licensed homes in DCS’ history.

“We are working urgently to recruit more foster care providers to bring safety and stability for Arizona’s most vulnerable children,” said AZ DCS Director Mike Faust.

“Many people in our community have wondered about foster care. They want to make a difference, but they’re not sure they’re a good fit or don’t not know where to start.”

Adults ages 21 to 70+ can become licensed to provide foster care. Many young professionals, empty nesters and everyone in between have homes to share and love to give.

Kids enter foster care through no fault of their own. They are placed in care because their biological parents or legal guardians are unable to care for them safely.

The purpose of a foster home is to provide a loving place for children to learn and grow while their parents do the work that’s needed to create a safe home environment.

“All children need a safe place to learn from their mistakes and gain new skills to use in their future,” said Faust. “They need someone to ask about their school day, wish them a happy birthday and check up on their homework.”

For children who are unable to reunite with their parents, DCS works to connect them with loving, adoptive families.

For more information about foster care, calling 877-543-7633 or visit AZDCS.gov/foster.

 

Many people in our community have wondered about foster care. They want to make a difference, but they’re not sure they’re a good fit or don’t not know where to start.– Mike Faust

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