This week’s Huffington Post Gay Voices“Let Love Define FamilyTM” series installment features an interview with Mary Keane, age 65, of New York City, who found her interest in supporting teenagers in the foster care system snowballed from one youth to taking in almost two dozen. At age 50, while going through the foster parent certification process, she moved from a studio apartment to a large Victorian house, which she spent a year renovating in order to provide a welcoming home for her new family. Mary’s commitment to these young people may be more than most people can imagine but the wisdom she gained along the way is inspirational and instructive for any current or aspiring foster-adoptive parents.
Along with her personal involvement as a foster parent, she also went on to serve on the board of You Gotta Believe, a local foster care and adoption agency focused exclusively on older youth, and ultimately joined its staff. Her example illustrates that it’s never too late to take the initiative to help kids in the foster care system.—Corinne Lightweaver, RaiseAChild.US.
Corinne Lightweaver: I know you have fostered many teenagers and you are now a social worker with You Gotta Believe in New York. What got you started in fostering teens?
Mary Keane: Originally, I wanted to foster only lesbian teens, which in retrospect would have been a complete disaster. I never would have slept and I wasn’t thinking very clearly. I would have been up all night with a house full of lesbian teens with all those hormones and stuff. But it didn’t happen. They told me they didn’t have any lesbians. I’m in NYC and they told me they
didn’t have any lesbians!
Corinne: You’ve had so many teenagers. How did you get started?
Mary: I got certified as a foster parent, and with foster parents they just call you and say we have a kid. My first kid was a 14-year-old girl coming out of a crisis unit, and they called and asked if I would accept her and I said yes.
Source: Huffington Post