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Maybe I am a Little “long in the tooth!”

That’s what my husband said to me when I started this journey six years ago.  Some days, I think he is correct, but more days than not, I think, I got this because God’s got me! The journey is the mission of Geary Foster Foundations. The vision and the passion are shared by my mature, full of wisdom, former foster sister and co-founder, Colleen Geary Patton.

A friend recently sent me an article about Christian Bale in California doing precisely what we have been doing in North Texas. The project is a foster home community, with the unique innovative idea of building several independent family homes in one central location. He is building 12 homes on 16 acres, and we are building 8 homes on 12 acres. It took him 16 years to get going and he will complete his village in one year.  It has taken us six years to complete two homes with the completion of the third home soon, and we will be lucky if we complete our village in another 16 years!  I hope I’m still alive to see it!

The article does explain and bring attention to the “community idea.” His fame gets him the attention, and people listen when he states, “These family homes allow sibling groups to stay together” and It’s the brainchild of him and his wife. Our homes have helped nine sibling groups to date, so he is correct. They recognized the tremendous need for homes for foster children in California and we recognized the need six years ago in Texas.  It took him so long, he stated, because he had no idea how complicated the process is when dealing with people’s lives and children in the foster care system. I get it!

The homes he will build and the homes we have built are newly constructed family-friendly layouts accommodating one family in each with foster parents who will treat these children as their own. These are not group homes, and these children are not separated by age and sex.  In our case, parents become part of our mission and are passionate about fostering. We are a 501C3 organization, building debt-free, and are 100% volunteer with no employees.

He also stated that they are one of a kind, the first in California, and it is a project that needs to be replicated. I couldn’t agree more!  I’ve been saying this all along, but I am not Christian Bale! These can be a prototype for more communities everywhere.  I still have people who think we are a group home for teenage girls. I did investigate that because I was a teenager in foster care, but after visiting communities that do exist in Oklahoma, we loved the family environment created.

The only thing Christian Bale and I have in common is the passion for children in foster care and the same innovative idea for change in care. (And Batman!!  LOL. Without going into detail, the Batman story was the beginning of my personal foster care journey!)

You’ll have to read my story “My Five Moms”, by Susie Black Holamon


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