321 hearts. 321 lives. 321 futures shaped by two loving individuals. When Barbara and Edward Williams became a foster family in 1981, they couldn’t have foreseen the love that would fill their home. This same Oxnard home has watched the couple care for 321 foster children and youth over the last 35 years.
“A lot of people ask how you let them go,” says Barbara. “But you just help them and love them as long as you can. We treated them like we gave birth to them, and it didn’t matter how they got to us – we were just happy that they did and we could help them.”
A visit into their home demonstrates the impact that Barbara and Edward had on these children, as does their existing relationships to the youth they formerly fostered. Many of their foster children were reunited with their biological families or adopted, but all are loved. The Williams are visited often by the children they supported over the years.
Today, the Williams have a multitude of grandkids and great grandkids from their extended families, and their hearts full of joy. They hope sharing their stories will shed light on the beautiful side of foster care, and encourage others to get involved. “They may not know how to care, how to act, or how to love,” says Barbara. “But you’ll find some wonderful benefits in giving them a loving new start!”
We can’t think of a more deserving pair to honor and look up to than Barbara and Edward Williams.
“Loving is really the only prerequisite for fostering,” says Barbara. “You will learn marvelous secrets of joy from these kids, even if they have challenges as they go along. It will all work out with love.”
So you don’t think you can do it? If you are reluctant to foster or insecure about your ability to foster, let the Williams inspire you to make a change. Whether you care for 321 or 10 or 1, boys or girls, teens or newborns, you are making a difference.
The need for loving homes for foster children and youth in Ventura County is just as significant as ever, with over 1,000 children and youth across Ventura County needing support while separated from their families of origin. Foster VC Kids identifies, trains, and supports foster families like the Williams as they welcome foster children into their homes.
For more information on how you can help Ventura County’s foster youth, please contact Foster VC Kids at 805-654-3220 or browse our site.
KEYT documented the Williams’ inspirational journey below: (Source: KEYT)