Caregiver Spotlight: Kelly Murch

At Treehouse, we are honored to serve and support hundreds of dedicated foster parents and relative caregivers across Washington state. We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with caregiver Kelly Murch to talk about her family’s foster care journey. 

Why did you become a foster parent?

“My husband Chandler and I were having dinner with a friend who works for Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. They were talking about how the agency is facing a foster-home crisis and the growing need for families to take kids into their homes. We had always heard there was a shortage of good foster homes but never realized what a big problem it was for our state. We really felt a sense of urgency when they described the situation, and we were at a place in our lives where we could actually do something to help. We started the licensing process in March 2016 took our first placement of a 12-day-old baby boy in December of 2016. We had our second placement—a 3-year-old—in January of this year.”

How has your family evolved since you became a foster parent?

“My husband and I are both new to parenting, so becoming foster parents has been a big change for us. My husband really took to parenting like a fish to water! Our immediate family now consists of me, my husband, 4-month-old foster son, 3½ year-old foster daughter and two kittens who generally try to stay out of the way of the little ones. After being a very fussy baby, our foster son has really started to develop his personality. People often comment on what a smiley, happy baby he is. Our foster daughter is a total firecracker and keeps us on our toes. She loves to cook and help out whenever we are in the kitchen. She is developing a great sense of humor and is working on her joke-telling skills.  We feel really lucky to also have a supportive extended family and community who have helped welcome these kids into our lives.”

What is the best part about being a foster parent?

“It’s amazing to feel like I am having a real, positive impact on these kids. I have a lot of proud parenting moments watching them grow and helping them learn to see the world in a new way. My favorite moments are the silly-sweet-crazy-hair mornings when the kids are totally content and happy.”

What are the greatest challenges?

“Like all kids, our kids can have difficult behaviors. As new parents, it can be hard, but we are learning along with them! Early on, one of our biggest hurdles was trying to co-parent within the foster system—there are a ton of rules foster parents need to follow. Finding the right resources and support can be daunting. I was lucky to find somebody to help mentor me through the foster-care process, and I really encourage prospective foster parents to connect with a support group or mentor to help navigate the system. You are not alone in this process and it is important to reach out to the community in your journey as a foster parent.”

How does Treehouse support your family?

“Our kids are growing quickly, and the Treehouse Wearhouse has really helped us meet their changing needs with clothes, toys, books and other essential items. Our foster daughter loves dancing, and the Little Wishes program has provided funding for her ballet lessons. She has really blossomed in class and is making friends! We also are excited that Treehouse provides haircare assistance which helps meet the cultural needs of our foster daughter. Overall, we are so thankful for the positive support Treehouse offers kids and foster parents!”

What is one thing you wish others knew about being a foster parent?

“Being a foster parent is totally worth it! While foster parenting can be hard—it sometimes feels like an emotional workout—the positive far outweighs the other stuff.”

Learn more about opening your home and becoming a foster parent in Washington. 

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