“We’re looking at how to attract people, and for those willing to go through the fairly arduous process ... how to support them,” said Irene Clements, director of the National Foster Parent Association. Within the first year, she said, up to 50 percent of foster parents “give up and say, ‘This is too hard.’”
Todd first recalls thinking he wanted to become a foster parent in high school after he heard a Christian camp counselor talk about his experience with it. Todd and Britton met as teenagers and new believers at a Bible study in Santa Barbara, Calif. Before marriage, a pastor performing premarital counseling likened abstaining from birth control as newlyweds to “standing in the middle of the freeway,” Britton told me with a laugh.
The Kendalls attended an introductory foster care meeting in 2016 with another infertile couple from their church. That couple had been on an adoption agency’s waiting list for two years. Then, Britton heard about Royal Family Kids’ Camps (RFKC), a national Christian-run nonprofit that partners with churches to provide local foster children with a week of over-the-top love and fun. Camp activities include a pajama party for girls, a knighting ceremony for boys, a petting zoo, woodworking classes, a zip line, and a high ropes course.
In 2017, the Kendalls enlisted their church to join Sonoma County’s recently launched RFKC. Britton says camp “changed my whole idea of what it could mean to enter someone’s life midstory, even for a short period of time. You meet kids that you would change your whole life for.”