ST. GEORGE — Every year, Utah Foster Care honors their mother and father of the year for every region within the state. This year for Father’s Day, the local region of Utah Foster Care is honoring Adam Wilson with their award for Foster Care Father of the Year.
Normally, the foster fathers of the year are honored during a chalk art festival in Salt Lake City but the festival had to be canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For this year, the foster parents of the year received a gift card to thank them.
“When you become a foster parent, you agree to take in children that have been abused or neglected in some way. They have been traumatized,” Utah Foster Care lead foster adoptive consultant Ben Ashcraft said. “Imagine taking a child into your home that has been through some traumatic histories, there’s going to be some challenges along with that and some impacts upon their families. There’s both rewards and challenges that go along with it but we recognize the sacrifice that does go into it.”
Wilson spoke about the sacrifices he has made along the way while being a foster parent, but also mentioned the joy he finds through being a foster parent.
“Sure you make sacrifices,” Wilson said. “Depending on the kids, some of them require a lot of attention and a lot of guidance. For me, at least it’s overshadowed by being able to see the progress they make. It’s fun for me to get to know these kids and see where they’ve come from and then give them the tools that they need to grow.”
As for being named the foster parent of the year, Wilson mentioned that he did not know they even had such an award. He said it was not something he was competing for or working towards, but he is happy to see others recognizing the work he does for his foster children.
When asked about one large lesson he has learned while being a foster parent, Wilson said that he had to learn how to roll with the punches when planning things out.
“One of the things I learned early on is when you’re dealing with humans and the human condition … plans are really only a formality,” Wilson said. “Yeah, there’s a plan but you have to be flexible and prepared for that to go sideways. That was a big one for me, you need to be able to make the best out of however things happen and be able to adapt to change.”
For the foster care system in Utah, there are on average 2,500 children in care and about half that many foster parents. Ashcraft emphasized that the foster system is dependent on the parents because, without them, the children won’t have a place to go. They also need a variety of options for these children.
Without a variety, some foster children might not fit with certain parents. This would lead to a bad match for not only the parent but the child. The parents in the system are essential and play a big role in working through the trauma with the foster children.
“It’s important. They do play an essential role in our community and it’s very much so needed,” Ashcraft said. “We appreciate everybody that steps up.”
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.