I have been a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter for more than four years and have come to crave the adrenaline rush of getting a new child on my caseload; to start learning about this child and the excitement of feeling like I may have just found the family for a child (I have been known to run down the hallway of my office a time or two in celebration). I catch myself at times needing to come back to reality. The reality this child was abused. The reality this child was hurt. The reality this child had to say goodbye to their birth parents.
When I think about children in the foster care system and the risk they are willing to take – the risk to love again, the risk to be loved, and sadly, the possible risk to be rejected again — the picture that comes to mind is a superhero. To me it just doesn’t get any braver than this. Imagine what these children are trying to conquer from their past to move forward in their futures. They are truly resilient superheroes. These kids have conquered heart-breaking obstacles and still find the motivation to move forward. I’d like to think my job is not that of a recruiter – but “superhero matcher.” I find the right superhero family for a superhero child. To walk beside them, embrace their life story, and let them continue to be brave.
We tend to think superheroes aren’t real because they have supernatural powers, but I’d like to think there are superheroes walking around all of our communities. The best part? I get to work with them every day.
Jessica Olson is a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter and works every day to find permanent, loving homes for children in foster care.