By Tanna Woodward

Oh, the heart of a foster parent.

Today, I think about the kids that we’ve had in our home. We’ve tried to make a home for them so they would feel safe and secure. So they would know that someone was watching out for them…was SEEING them when they hurt and struggled with the pain life had thrown at them.

We’ve had those children we felt we didn’t help at all. It wasn’t the child’s fault, but we weren’t equipped to handle that child’s needs. That doesn’t make it anyone’s fault really. It’s just a fact in this life. No one can do it all.

BUT, we’ve had many others that felt safe here. They knew we were watching them. Not letting them get by with things they knew were wrong, but were screaming for someone to notice and tell them it wasn’t right. They knew we were there for them, if they needed to cry or to be angry because life is just hard sometimes.

I struggle with how hard life is as an adult. Can you imagine struggling with that as a child? We’ve had kids that have truly broken my heart over the sadness they were going through and others that I was at a loss to handle the anger they showed.

My heart aches for kids that should just be loved and protected by their parents, but are stuck in the cycle of abuse and neglect. Maybe their parents had no one that loved and protected them? Maybe their parents are stuck in their own addictions and can only think about themselves because of it? Whatever the reason, there is nothing right about a child suffering from their parents’ mistakes.

We owe our children so much more. They deserve to be loved and cared for. And they deserve much more than that. They deserve security, family, friends, fun, and people in their home and community that will stand in the gap for them every day.

Tanna Woodward is a foster parent in Glasgow, Kentucky. Tanna and her husband, Colby, have been foster parents for over four years and have cared for 25 children. They have four birth children, one adopted son, and nine grandchildren.

May is Foster Care Awareness Month. If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, learn more at