The foster care system is far from perfect. In fact, it is quite
a mess. But always believing that I can't complain unless I do something
about it first, Open Arms Campaign was created in the fall of 2001.
Growing up in Texas, the family across the street inspired me with
their own experience as foster parents. I saw them care for such
little people who had already lived so much. From watching them,
I knew that I wanted to be a foster parent someday.
I put off having kids in order to travel, live in another country,
be a poor artist, and drive cars without seatbelts. When it was
time to "settle down" in June of 1997, 2 gorgeous boys
arrived upon our doorstep, frightened and wounded. The learning
process was challenging and quite rewarding.
Ten children later, I feel like an old hat at the parenting
game. To date, none of the ten children, nor their 12 siblings,
have returned to the parents from which they were taken. That means
that 22 children will be growing up in foster homes or perhaps adopted.
The need for GREAT foster and adoptive homes is therefore obvious.
We have never changed our minds about the adequacies of the foster
care system, only our approach to working around it.
Many people think we are saints (we are not), or say that they could
never stand the pain when the children leave (they could), or think
that they aren't married, rich, or conventional enough (don't need
to be). All a person needs in order to help a foster child is patience,
compassion, and a desire to make a difference in one other person's
I encourage each of you to educate yourself about what being a foster
child means, how you can help them, and then go and tell others.
Remember, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the
Write to us @
Open Arms Campaign
PO Box 22228
Seattle WA 98111
Atrayue, age 9
When I was little, people hurt me and so I moved to like, 5 homes. And then I lived with my
new mom twice and now I'm staying here forever. I would have had to stay with mean people if there
were not foster families. I think people should be foster parents.