When Robin Wright started a new position at an East Texas elementary school, she was overwhelmed by the number of children in her class with Child Protective Services involvement in their lives.
Married almost 18 years, she and her husband, Barry, have raised five boys. Robin said she planned to be a young empty nester, but decided the need was too great for her ignore.
After completing training, the Wrights received their first call from Buckner Foster Care and Adoption about a sibling group of three children – Anna, 7, Riley, then 5, and Sarah, then 3* – who needed a home. The trio was removed from their home after CPS received reports of them being left alone for long periods of time.
When the Wrights learned that they needed extra space for Riley to live there, Barry recruited a construction crew and the men built a room that weekend – in 36 hours.
The children jumped right into summer fun – Camp Buckner, swimming pools, fireworks – as well as a first birthday party for Riley, who turned 6.
While the kids have progressed emotionally and spiritually, the last 10 months have not been without their challenges.
“[Robin] is holding on to this boy who is absolutely broken,” Buckner Case Manager Jessica Hernandez said. “Robin told Riley, ‘Let me worry for you.’ What a perfect example of showing Christ through this ministry. Only God can heal these kids, ultimately. But [Robin and Barry] are helping in that healing process.”
Riley and Sarah’s older sister, Anna, moved to live with another Buckner foster family. Though a difficult decision, Anna is thriving in her new home.
Sarah and Riley are blossoming.
“[Sarah] was praying daily, ‘I pray for old momma and daddy, but I pray they don’t take me back,'” Robin said. “'I pray I get to stay with my new mommy and daddy.’"
Since coming to the Wrights, Riley has opened up emotionally, is doing well in his new school and completing tasks.
This January, Robin and Barry received another call from Buckner. This time about a newborn baby, Joshua*, just five days old.
Having a newborn in the house has certainly been an adjustment. Joshua, who tested positive for four different drugs, needs 24-hour attention. Robin and Barry take shifts holding and rocking him to sleep and are also trading time off work to care for him.
Baby Joshua is melting hearts across the family. Robin’s mom, who was a bit hesitant about foster care, asked Robin about plans for Joshua’s future.
“She said, ‘If that baby comes up for adoption, you’re adopting him,’” Robin said.
Ultimately, the Wrights do not know where life will take Riley, Sarah, Joshua or their family.
“If the kids do not stay, I hope they know and leave with the fact that they’re valued, and that they have a Savior who loves them,” Robin said.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.