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Bella & Phin Bydlinski

The Bydlinskis’ decision to foster did not come easily. Phin felt the calling before Bella fully heard it.

“You can say ‘no,’ but it’s already happening,” Phin recalled saying to Bella when he decided he wanted them to foster. “I’ve already made some calls.”

It didn’t take Bella long to come on board, though.
“We had space and capabilities and it made sense,” she said.

One of Bella’s main hesitations was feeling she may not be the best person for the job, but she said Youth Villages helped ease that concern almost immediately.

“We received support every step of the way,” she said. “Any time we needed something, we’d pick up the phone and call our counselor. If she couldn’t get the information, she would find someone who could.”

Youth Villages offers foster parents 24/7 support from staff members.

“You have someone there to support you,” Phin said. “They’re there, and they have the resources. You just have to remember to call them.”

Once they were matched with their first child, the couple’s worry about being capable parents subsided as they started seeing the little victories experienced by the young person.

“Seeing a kid in your house get through things and meet goals… it’s so rewarding,” Phin said. “It’s so cool and amazing to watch kids change and develop.”

When fostering, it’s hard to know how long the child may be in the home – whether for longer than expected or a shorter time period. Instead of seeing the potential sadness in the latter, the Bydlinskis aimed to make the most of every day.

“Stay in the moment, and don’t worry about them leaving,” Bella said. “Stay focused on every milestone.”

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