It appears that you're using a severely outdated version of Safari on Windows. Many features won't work correctly, and functionality can't be guaranteed. Please try viewing this website in Edge, Mozilla, Chrome, or another modern browser. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused!Read More about this safari issue.
More than a dozen children will enter foster care in Arkansas today. Sadly, there are not enough open foster homes for these children. It’s the vision of The CALL (Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime) to place each one of them in a loving, Christian home. The CALL started in Pulaski County in 2007 followed by Lonoke County. Currently, The CALL is in 35 Arkansas counties, and seven more will launch in 2016.
Isaac and Rachelle Wardell of El Dorado do God’s work here on earth. Last year, they were chosen to be 2015 Angels in Adoption™ awardees for outstanding advocacy of adoption and foster care issues. The Wardells became foster parents through an organization called The CALL. In an effort to help demystify the fostering process, Rachelle shared some of their story with OnlyinArk.
How many foster and adoptive children do you have now?
As I write this, our two adopted sons are asleep in their room. Our foster room can sleep two, but there’s only one child asleep in there now. That’s because, for the first time in a long time, our county has enough beds for each child coming into care. The CALL recruited 13 new foster families here in Union county in 2015. That’s almost unbelievable, because at the beginning of 2015, Union county had just three foster homes.
Why did you decide to become a foster parent?
I have known I wanted to help children who had been through trauma since I was a child myself. My career plan at age 10 was to be a cottage parent at a group home. Isaac definitely married into my dream, but he’s owned it!
Why do you think more people don’t foster?
We think that people don’t know –
Describe a touching moment that makes all the struggles worth it.
We have had 26 children spend time in our home, so I can’t limit it to one moment! We have seen a child who couldn’t talk due to neglect become one who freely expresses his philosophical depths. We have seen a child who was malnourished go from eating 2-3 bites per meal to eating almost a full meal every chance she gets. We have seen a child who was self-harming recover. We have seen a child who once ate his own flip-flop learn to make healthy choices about his helpings at mealtime. We have seen a child who grieved for her father, and that grief moved him to become the man she needed. We have seen a family reconciled, after they had been apart for a year. We have seen 26 children safe.
To bring The CALL to your county, visit their website for more information.
Sign up for our weekly e-news.
Get stories sent straight to your inbox!