9/7/16 UPDATE: A long year later, we have purchased the farm! It's been a crazy ride. We moved in last month after our "old" house flooded. Thank GOD our new house didn't. Unfortunately, our outdoor kitchen on the new property, which was to be our first seed's cottage, did. Our house is lifted on piers. The outbuilding is on a slab.
We've been working to clean out the building, but it probably needs to be demolished, rather than putting a young adult living there. We've also had skilled volunteers who want to help, but are so overworked helping everyone recover from the flood, they're unable to get to us. We don't feel a remodel is possible right now.
Now, we have a 17 year old, who is turning 18 next week, without the apartment we've planned for her. She currently shares a room with her foster sister, but foster care rules state an 18 year old can't stay in the bedroom with a foster child.
We NEED to get her a place. Her birthday is September 12. I've been searching campers and I think we can find a decent one for $5000. This child has become a daughter to me and I cannot ask her to leave. She is also a victim of the flood, and needs a hand up. I'd appreciate all your support. You guys were amazing last time I reached out, and I'm trusting God will meet our needs as always.
Inital post: As foster parents, my husband and I have seen many cases of kids coming from hard places. Twenty-two foster kids have come through our house so far. Don't tell Troy, but we're not even close to done ;) We adopted two wonderful boys, had to make the difficult decision not to adopt some who were not the right fit for our family, proudly sent some back to birth parents who had worked really hard to be ready for them, and were devastated by the return of 2 babies to biological families after more than a year in our home each.
One girl that we felt we couldn't adopt is still on my heart--years after leaving our home. She's got some problems; and knowing her story, I'll tell you she's entitled to every one. But she occassionally has angry outbursts that we feel could be a danger to the younger children in our home. She's 14 now, and has been in foster care since she was 8 years old. That's a long time to not have a family. The sad truth is that she'll likely "age-out." Foster kids who don't return to birth families, and don't get adopted, are essentially expected to grow up on their 18th birthdays. They have NO FAMILY, few life skills, little education, and nowhere to turn. A startling 70% end up in trouble (jail, pregnant, homeless, prostitution).
This is a number we'd like to see diminished. We envision a program that houses these kids, teaches them about job searching, life skills, money management, etc. Seeds to Success will be a farm with housing for these kids and a program to teach them independent living skills, without making them live independently on their 18th birthdays.
As we prepare to start this non-profit, we have our house on the market, have the "farm" house under contract, and are doing the preliminary work of starting a non-profit. With all these tranistions, we are finding it difficult to finance this idea. Filing the paperwork is $400 and up. I'm asking for help to get this non-profit started. At this point, donations are not tax-deductible, but if each of my facebook friends gives only $1, we'd be pretty close to our goal.
After we are official, we'll be doing bigger fundraising projects and asking for tax-deductible donations, but we'd really appreciate anyone who can help out now.