FOSTERING COMMUNITY BLOG
Written By: Kelsey Karr, Houston Angels Intern
Hey everyone! It’s National Kinship Care Month, and we at the Houston Angels are here to honor and celebrate the families involved in kinship care. First up, we would love for you to meet the Irby Jones Family.
Mrs. LaShonna Irby is the mother of one biological child. Her daughter graduated high school at the young age of 16, and began college to pursue her degree of social work. While her daughter was in college, Mrs. LaShonna was under the impression that her time “raising kids” was over. Well, in 2018 that changed when the State of Kansas Court System and a C.A.S.A Worker contacted Mrs. Irby letting her know that her father’s children were in the care of the state and needed a place to call home.
How the Irby Family Prepared
Now, as you can imagine, the Irby family home was not particularly “kid-friendly” because it hadn’t had young children living in it for quite some time. To become a kinship certified home and to successfully take in her siblings, Mrs. Irby worked with Sanctuary Foster Care Services here in the Houston area. This foster care service/agency helped the Irby family through the entire process of getting the kids into their home. From parenting classes to obtaining a CPR license, to home inspections, the agency assisted them with all of it.
With the formalities finished, all that was missing was the kids. To ensure she was ready to care for the kids and to test how “kid-friendly” her home was, Mrs. LaShonna decided to begin offering respite care for foster families. Respite care is when there are planned short-term and time-limited breaks for foster families. So by becoming a “respite care home”, the Irby family was able to get a little practice when it came to caregiving and having smaller kids present.
Lots of preparation went into providing these three kids a home. Finally, on March 18, 2021, three beautiful children were officially in Texas and in their forever home with the Irby Family. So, let’s meet the kids.
Karrie Irby is a 10 year old sassy ball of sunshine. She is very caring, and aspires to be a nurse when she is older.
Lamont Jones Jr. is a four year old boy who aspires to be a police officer when he’s older.
Treyvon is a 9 year old who is considering joining the military and serving our country when he is older.
All three of these beautiful children are different in their own way, but share a common thing that kept them together, their “Sissy” (LaShonna Irby).
The Irby’s have many things that they enjoy doing together as a family. Just a few of these things include going to Dave & Busters, going to Main Event, watching movies, and attending family outings together.
A Message to Kinship & Foster Families.
Through talking to the Irby family for this blog post, it became evident that there have been sacrifices made and a lot of time, work, effort, and love put into welcoming these kids into their home. It was an extensive journey for this family, filled with triumphs, stalls, and trials. The important thing that the Irby family would like you to know is that you need to Keep Climbing. It is a lot of work and it does get hard sometimes, but you ultimately are doing what is best for the kids. We do not know the individual trauma that each child has from their life journey so far, and so we must continue to serve the children - with their best interest at heart. The Irby family kept climbing, relying on patience, prayer, and community to make it through. Now, here they are, a happier and larger family than before.
Want to know more?
If you want to know more information about kinship care, and how to support these families, please visit the following sources:
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
PO Box 420966
Houston, TX 77242