Patricia Carter wanted several children of her own, but she ended up being the mother of one child.
With so much love in her heart, she decided to become a foster mother of African-American children. But God had a different plan, and over the years she has had a diversity of children in her home to shower with love.
The Omahan has taken care of 40 foster children over the past 10 years. In 2017, she was named licensed foster parent of the year by Nebraska Families Collaborative, now known as PromiseShip.
Carter’s greatest motivation for taking in foster children was to provide children with a warm and loving Christian home. She involves her children in church activities, including children’s choir and dance ministry. She takes delight in seeing how her little ones enjoy dancing on the Holland Center stage or singing in the choir and glorifying the Lord.
Carter said: “My support system includes the Lord, my mother and sisters. I don’t know what I would do without my family. They are so helpful with filling in with different tasks involving the children if I have another commitment. They also dearly love the children.”
Good foster parents are greatly needed. According to the latest federal data, there are more than 400,000 children in the United States in foster care. The average age of the children is older than 8. There are slightly more boys than girls.
Carter has a passion for helping the reunification process, which is getting the children back with their parents. Coming from a warm and loving family herself, she understands that children would love to be in a healthy home with their original family. So, no matter how much Carter loves the children she takes care of, she has a goal of helping them be reunited with their families.
“With the case manager’s support, I try to include the families of the children in different activities, such as inviting a family representative to doctor and dentist appointments with us. They can learn of a health condition, or dentistry needs. I like for the parents to feel like they are still a part of their children’s life,” Carter said.
She told how she enrolls the children in swimming lessons at the YMCA. One of the children she had was only 2 years old and needed an adult to be in the water with her in addition to the teacher. Carter invited the child’s mother to come to the swim lessons with her daughter. Activities such as this are delightful for parent and child. And a good relationship with the parents of her foster children is a priority in Carter’s life.
She also likes to keep consistency in the children’s lives. To ensure that they have a sense of peace and order, she is the one who drives them to school on a regular basis and to other activities and events. As of now, she has four girls who are sisters, and one boy.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
It appears that Patricia Carter exemplifies this beautiful biblical verse.