Last year, I signed up to be trained as a Visit Host, someone who can supervise family visits outside of foster care agency visit rooms. VisitHosting allows families the opportunity to do all the things that families usually do together, like eat out and go to activities in their communities.
I began hosting visits for a couple and their beautiful 2-year-old daughter. We started out with three-hour visits every Tuesday and Thursday. It was exciting for the parents and their daughter to visit outside the agency visit room. We did activities, like eating out at an Italian restaurant or a bagel place, trying scallops at a fancy Chinese restaurant and seeing a parade, and going to the movies and the park. The mom was very creative and she would bring party hats and little horns.
The little girl looked forward to our adventures. If I got to her foster home first on visit days, she would be eagerly waiting for the doorbell to ring again and her parents to arrive.
As time went on, the little girl grew increasingly more affectionate with her parents. She began to talk more and sit still instead of running around the whole time. It seemed easier for the family to become closer while seeing new things and going different places.
Soon everything came to be about Mommy and Daddy. If she was sleepy, the little girl would call for Daddy. He would carry her and she would fall asleep on his shoulders or in his arms.
I hope that I will get the chance to be a Visit Host to another family. It makes me sad and angry when I think of how many other families have children in foster care and never get to experience positive times with their children outside of agency visit rooms.