RIPON, Wis. (WFRV) – It takes an extraordinary woman to be a foster mother. Jennifer Leiske is a foster mother, who has been opening up her heart and home to children in need for over a decade.
Jennifer first got the idea of becoming a foster mother, after watching a segment on a talk show about children in need of homes from overseas in 2004. She was just finishing college and knew that she needed to do something to help. A short time later, she applied and was approved to open her home. When asked what the best thing about being a foster parent is, she said “it’s very rewarding, it’s gratifying because each of my children are so unique, so different.”
One of the children placed in her home when she was just 18 months old, Cecilia Leiske has experienced a traumatic event that caused her placement into the Leiske home. She recalled that event in a recent assignment in school. Choking back tears, Jennifer says that, “Cecilia was 18 months old when she was removed and put into foster care. She went through years of therapy, but a lot of things didn’t come out. She just recently wrote a life experience story, she remembers extremely traumatic events about the night she was removed. I asked her, how do you remember this? She said, Mom, that’s not something you can forget, and I’m grateful that you adopted me.”
Jennifer’s husband Kevin, says that his wife’s compassion and strength is amazing. “The love that she has for our children, is beyond any I’ve ever seen.” Their children have love for her as well. “My mom is a super mom because she makes us dinner, sometimes” said Cecilia. As the whole room erupted in laughter, all the kids agreed.
Becky Franke who also lives in Ripon says that Jennifer has been an inspiration that has her thinking about becoming a foster parent as well.”I have always in some way wanted to either adopt or foster. Just meeting Jennifer, I just want to open my house and my heart to more and more kids.”
Jennifer doesn’t view herself as a Super Mom. “I see my children as the super heroes because they have been able to get through all of the tough times,”-said Jennifer. There is a need for families to foster or adopt in North East Wisconsin. If you would like more information, contact your local county administration office.