Mary Kathryn Wimberly is a native of West Texas and performer of many eclectic roles. She is a wife, mom, visual artist, instructor, musician, grief support group leader, part time homeschool parent, and child welfare advocate. She holds a BFA from the University of North Texas, a MFA from Texas Woman’s University, and currently sits on the board of One Accord for Kids and The Right for Families Advisory Council.
It might be easy to think of fostering as an all-or-nothing world. Either you are a foster
parent, with all the joys, difficulties, and unknowns; or you aren’t. The idea of fostering
and adoption was planted in me as a preteen. I remember a family who came to dinner
one night and had their newly adopted daughter with them. I heard the difficulty involved
in the process but saw the joy this family experienced with their children. I was struck by
the beauty of a family being grown in this way, and wanted that to be part of my story as
Fast forward to adulthood. My family grew in a more traditional way, and we have
experienced our own joys and deep sorrows in ways that has shaped the path we are
walking on. Though the seeds of fostering and adoption were planted in me long ago,
becoming a foster or adoptive parent hasn’t been a reality for us. I thought maybe I
wasn’t meant to be a foster or adoptive parent, but God has grown that seed in my heart
in unexpected ways. He has given me opportunities to learn, advocate, and serve the
foster care community.
Within the child welfare space, Foster Parent Night Out (FPNO) has been the most
hands-on opportunity I have experienced. Through the work of The Attic, churches in
our area have begun to serve foster families by hosting a babysitting night for families
that have foster children in their care. Once a month, a local church partners with The
Attic to give foster parents the ability to drop off all their kids and get out for a few hours
for a date night or to simply run errands without kids underfoot. So once or twice a year,
I head up to my church on a Friday night and play with kids. It is such a small thing to
spend a few hours giving out snacks and sitting on the floor playing dolls or trucks, but
for a parent who has given up so much freedom to step in and take a child into their
home, these monthly nights out encourage them to persevere in the day-to-day work of
being a foster parent. It is a beautiful picture of how the church and a community can
join together in caring for the most vulnerable children in our area, and a wonderful way
to support the heroes who have taken these kids into their homes and hearts.
If you are interested in getting involved with Foster Parent Night Out, visit our website!
Get Informed ◉ Get Equipped ◉ Be the HERO these kids need!