Wanda Muehlbrad

As Interviewed by Maida Acker, March 18, 2019

Wanda Muehlbrad In Her Own Words

This is my interview with Wanda Muehlbrad on her experience as a foster parent.

They needed foster families to take in children and they, it just happened that one of the social workers went to church there and, he, and I just said, oh I just mentioned it and we talked about maybe doing it but then we didn’t do anything about it then, right. Then one day he calls me and he says ‘Well you want to give it a try?’ so, we did, and then that’s how we got started.

Oh, sometimes they only stay for one day to, three months or more, and then one of them stayed for 22 years. Lot of times I had seven children in the home, and different ages.

I would prepare them when they were getting ready to place, especially the older children, the babies, you know, as long as someone took care of them, they’re okay. And that, even though you miss them very much, and that then for the older children I kinda had a, I drew a picture, and hung it on wall. I said ‘When you came to me, I drew a house, I drew three homes. And, one was their, first home with their parents’, and I said ‘This is your house when you lived with your own momma and dad’. Then, I drew another one, which was a little bigger, and I said, ‘This is the house where you’re at now, and that, that, we have to sometimes say that it was gonna be time for you to have to leave.’ So the third house would be a bigger house ‘Where you would have another family, and you will grow with that family’. And, and, that’s how I prepare these three, three homes and know that, I have to explain to them why they’re leaving.

I think the most reward is that you give yourself to that, that child. You’re not just saying okay, I’m here for you, it's just that you, you give yourself that child and you never ask for anything in return, you know. And so, I think that's the most rewarding thing there is, and that I look back now and I see all the babies and the little kids that ran through. We try to, the older children, we would take them out to the country, we have a place out in the country, and we just turn them loose. They’re able to climb the mountain, go fish, they could romp around, play in the mud, you know, and have the openness feeling, you know, that they can go to, and we never shut them, say ‘Okay, you can’t go with us’, you know, that type of thing. They always went wherever we went. And, so that was one of those things, you know, I think most rewarding is that we, maybe someway, gave them their first security. And, that I feel like, it was, it was godsent.

With, even though there were babies, they still came back. You know, knowing that, ‘cuz I always sent my name and address. If they ever wanted to live, if the adoptive parents, uh, never shut us out, and when I gave the name and address and that they would always come back, and that’s why that’s happened. And uh three of ‘em, I because guardian too, as they grew up, and they’re living in group homes now. They were never placed for adoption, so, but I’m their mom and dad. And that’s I think the most rewarding thing is.