Meet Sundy Goodnight
Sundy Goodnight is the first to admit she has her hands full.
As a single woman working a full-time job at One More Child Ministry, Sundy is also a parent of four – two girls she is fostering, and another two girls she has adopted. (Her youngest daughter was adopted in February.) Inspired by her parents – who adopted children after Sundy and her siblings had grown up and left home – and responding to the need she saw as part of her job, she finally decided to become a foster parent herself.
“I have never done parenthood any other way than single, but from what I ‘hear,’ having a helper is definitely a gift,” she says. From diapers, bottles, school drop-offs and classes to case worker- and court meetings, “I do everything. Juggling four kids and my work schedule and child care keeps me on my toes.” The experience can sometimes be isolating, she says, so Sundy employs a “single sandwich approach” to being a healthy single mom – making sure she stays fortified with friends, support groups and family relationships. “The great news is the foster care community is so welcoming to all of us,” Sundy says, “and I find my single foster mom friends are some of my greatest supporters.”
Relationships are vital in all parts of fostering, she adds. “Foster care is so much more than about relationships with the children, you must be willing to build relationships with families (adoptive families, bio families, relatives, siblings, etc.),” Sundy says. After being a foster mom for more than 20 children, she says she is still in touch with the majority of children who have been in her care. Some of the adoptive parents still keep her up-to-date with photos and birthday invitations.
Sundy says the “wrap around support” from people in her life has been the key to her success as a foster parent, stating that the kids in her home need “to see other people modeling kindness and generosity” as much as they are uplifted by it. She encourages people looking for ways to help those providing out-of-home care to find ways to serve – “serve them with a meal, a gift card, a note of encouragement, or meet a tangible need they have.” Sundy says some of the best supports have come from members of her foster care support group, who have helped her organize in her home and play with the kids while she was able to do her own chores. Gifts of diaper subscriptions, holiday presents and just checking in give her the fuel to keep going.
“Everyone can do something,” Sundy says, and she feels most appreciated by people who simply care enough to ask how they can help. “If you don’t know where to start contact your local foster care agency and ask how you can help or give!”
Even with so much to consider when it comes to the work entailed, she encourages people to not be afraid when considering being a foster parent – single or otherwise. “There are children every single day coming into foster care. Those children need loving, kind, caring, safe places to call home. Your YES to foster care may be a YES to changing a child’s destiny,” Sundy says.
“It’s hard, messy, and scary — but so is what the children have gone through,” she notes. “So, if you can make room in your heart to love another, today is your day to take the plunge and become a foster parent. Do it afraid, if you have to,” Sundy says. “I did.”