Association gives community a glimpse into the life of a child in the foster care system

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- No matter the reason a child ends up in the foster care, the goal is the same: to find a forever home. That can take years.

On Friday, The Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association invited community members to see what it's like for a child in the system. A quick bus ride made all the stops a child in foster care would take.

“It kind of reminded me of that beginning stuff that I had forgotten. Not in a negative way, I’m not going to break down in front of you, I promise,” said Nathan Ross, MFCAA Youth Program Supervisor

This was a trip down memory lane for Nathan who entered the system at 10 years old. He wanted to share his journey with community leaders who boarded the ride because his story was one of many.

“My mom got angry with two of my brothers and pushed them into hot bath water where they got severely burned. The burns led to infection and they died,” he said.

Children in the system meet with doctors, police, social workers, the list is endless. The whole experience can be terrifying. But the hope of everyone is to get the child into a safe and permanent home.

“There are 1,800 kids in foster care in Jackson County currently. The number of kids in care in Missouri and Kansas are larger at this time than in the history at either state,” said Lori Ross, the organization’s CEO and president.

Lori says this is a critical time for the system. It’s an experience that hits close to home. She fostered more than 400 kids, adopted 23. Of her kids, one of them was Nathan.

“I found myself thinking I was going to say no at the adoption hearing and before I realized it, I said yes. My name got changed from Ronald Lee Bass to Nathan Daniel Ross,” he said.

Lori says she hopes more people will open their hearts to the idea of fostering, adopting, or even just supporting those who are trying to do so.