Get to Know embrella 40 Club Member, Patty Soffer

How long have you been fostering?

Since 2002.

How many children in foster care have you had in your home?

45 (so far).

How many of these children (if any) have you adopted?

One; our daughter Sasha, who is now age 6. (She was 7 weeks old when she came to us as a foster placement. She was 2 years old when the adoption was finalized).

What made you become a foster parent?

“Let it begin with me” — this message is what inspired us to become foster parents. I am a law guardian (an attorney that represents children involved in child welfare cases in the court). In that capacity, I came to realize the great need for foster homes. We believed that we could more easily persuade others to open their hearts and their homes if we had first-hand experience doing the same.

What advice would you give to your fellow foster parents?

“Love and let go”. First and foremost, love unconditionally…even when you think they don’t love you back. Each and every child who passes through your doors will take something with them. If nothing else, let them feel the love for however short a time they stay with you — it just may stay with them forever. But when it’s time for them to go — let go! Loss comes with the territory — and that means for the foster parents too. You must learn to process the loss so you can move on and do it again!

What is the most important thing you would like the public to know about foster families?

Foster parents don’t do it for the money!

How has embrella helped you as a foster parent?

The Fostering Wishes For Children program granted a request on behalf of a preschool aged child that we fostered to enable her to participate in Gymboree classes. It really helped bolster her social skills and self-confidence!

If you could leave a message in a bottle for children in foster care, what would it be?

Never let your life experiences define who you are. Let them lead you where you want to go! Believe in yourself and never give up.