I (Ronda Carlson) grew up in a loving home, where my parents fostered many children. I’ve known since my early teen years that eventually I wanted to be a foster parent as well. Fortunately, my husband Joe was also on board with that idea!

Soon after we married (1987) we decided to begin our fostering journey. My husband was in the Navy and we lived in Charleston, SC. Many miles from any of our family. At 22 yrs old we were by far the youngest couple in the foster parent training! We completed our training and received our first placement shortly after being licensed.

Having no children of our own at the time, the department still trusted us with the most medically fragile of babies! That began our fostering/adoptive journey. Over the years we have fostered over 53 medical fragile babies and toddlers. We have been blessed to care for childrendiagnosed with HIV, failure to thrive, who have been severely abused, born drug exposed … Just to name a few of the children’s’ issues we learned to handle.

We’ve fostered in South Carolina, Virginia and Colorado, and have also had the privilege to adopt 5 of our 8 children with 4 of them once being foster placements.

We fostered for Maple Star (and loved the agency!) the last seven years before hanging up our hats, and retiring from being foster parents ourselves.

My husband and I have such a passion for foster kiddos and foster families that we just couldn’t “be done” fostering unless we were able to find another avenue to continue to be of help to the kids and families.

I was so fortunate to be offered a job to work for Maple Star once we decided to close our foster care license! I’m excited to be able to recruit foster families, do their training and my most favorite part of all is being able to mentor our foster families as they get placements. I love being able to draw from all the experiences my husband and I have had, both the mistakes we made and successes we’ve had to help our families have a smoother fostering experience or at the very least know they aren’t alone in this so tough but oh so rewarding journey!

Ronda Carlson
Previous Maple Star Foster Parent, and Present Foster Care Recruitment& Retention Specialist for the Northern CO Region

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