From outward appearance, Christy Haston is a typical, single 30-something woman. An assistant principal at a North Dallas elementary school, Christy likes to spend time outdoors with friends and family, travel and run. Take a closer look, though, and Christy’s life is anything but common.
“I’m all about doing whatever I can do to not be typical,” she says.
Christy became a licensed Buckner foster parent in September 2014 and has fostered four young girls in that time. Completely solo.
“I realized I’m going to be held accountable for my single life someday. Yes, I have lots of extra time, money and freedom, and yes it is fun to have all of that,” Christy says. “But, do I want to stand in front of the Lord and say, ‘Look at all these trips I took and things I purchased.’ Or do I want it to stand for something.”
Christy’s first placement was a little girl, about 2 years old. Christy says she was “precious, super easy.” Her next foster assignment was a bit more challenging – twin 6-year-old girls.
One of the girls, Mia*, was struggling with self-esteem and a tough friendship at school so she and Christy sat down to discuss ways to handle the situation. After achieving reconciliation with her friend, Mia came home beaming the next day, proclaiming “Miss Christy, when I do this [smile], it means I’m proud of myself.”
Moments like this remind Christy of the ministry of foster care: “Mia smiled differently from when she first came to me and when she left. I hope there’s a little seed of Jesus somewhere in that. I hope they walk away knowing a sense of being loved. Knowing that love will run deep, and the Lord can use that to drastically alter her life.”
Being a single foster parent isn’t without its challenges, so Christy leans on her Dallas community, family, church small group and Buckner for physical and emotional support. Six friends have become licensed respite caregivers to help give Christy a break, and the previous owners of her quaint North Texas home even left some essentials – a swing set, washer and dryer, furniture and a grill – behind. They knew she was becoming a foster parent, and they wanted to help.
Buckner has also been there to pick up the phone exactly when Christy needs support, guidance or a sympathetic ear.
“With the twins, there was a moment where I thought, ‘I need somebody to call me because I just feel like I’m defeated, not doing a good job and at an impasse,’” Christy recalls. “My home developer called me immediately and was so encouraging and helpful.”
She also trades off respite support with another Buckner foster family.
“It’s fun to have this community. We are this Buckner family,” Christy says.
Christy’s third placement, Zoe*, 3, is gregarious and fun, and the dynamic between the two is sweet and special. Zoe has since left Christy’s house to live with a relative, leaving Christy heartbroken but hopeful.
Transition is always tough as a child leaves Christy’s home and she shifts back into the single life, but she remains confident in the work God is doing in her and the lives of the children she fosters.
“I don’t know if this is forever for me. I don’t know what my forever is,” Christy says. “I don’t know what the rest of my story is. But I know right now, this is what I’m supposed to be doing."
*Name changed to protect privacy