CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa--There are times when, for whatever reason, a child's birth parents are unable to provide a safe, stable home. When this happens, foster families fill the gap. In Iowa alone, there are 6,100 children in foster care, 400,000 nationwide. Right now, many of those children urgently need a family and a place to call home.
There is never a dull moment in the life of Cindy Kettelkamp... In addition to operating a bakery with daughter Emily. Cindy and her husband have 5 biological children, adopted 3 more, and have opened their home to more than 25 foster children in the last 14 years.
"It's such a blessing to us. We get to be involved with these kids and get to see them grow and change and blossom and become really neat people," said Cindy Kettelkamp.
At the KettelKamp House, every child is treated like one of their own, even pitching in at the family business when not in school. Cindy calls it standing in the gap for parents who are unable, at a certain point, to be the parent their child needs. You see, not all foster children are up for adoption, many will at some point go back home.
"It's very important foster parents understand their role. They are working hand in hand with birth parents, when appropriate, and trying to reunite children with the birth parents," said Addie Martinez, Iowa KidsNet.
In the meantime, foster families are needed to provide love, encouragement, and support to children.
"Anybody can become a foster parent. We have foster parents that are single, students, same-sex couples," said Martinez.
Despite having a huge impact on the lives of dozens of children, Cindy is humble about her role as a foster parent, saying anyone can do what she and her husband have done.
"Every family has so many gifts and talents they can share with a kid that needs a little love and attention and to know someone's always there for them in their court and they've got their back," said Kettelkamp
Iowa KidsNet is currently looking for more foster and adoptive families like the KettelKamps. They especially need families willing to take in teens, minorities, and children with special needs. For more information check out www.IowaKidsNet.org.