‘I wouldn’t trade it for the world’: Blind foster mom remains resilient through obstacles
SPOKANE, Wash. — Mom of two foster children, Katie Strickland has had her fair share of hurdles but continues to push forward no matter what obstacles are thrown her way. Strickland is legally blind, and she and her late husband were the first blind couple to receive a license to become foster parents in the state of Washington.
Strickland was born at 22 weeks and was a foster child herself.
“I was always told from a young age that I could set my mind to anything that I wanted to, and I knew I wanted to be a mom. And so, I’ve taken on this journey,” Strickland said.
The couple was eager to become foster parents. They went through a lengthy process, which took longer than a typical foster parent applicant.
Eventually, they received their first placement, however it was short-lived, when only five days later her husband, Ryan, passed away.
“I was taking a phone call from my mom, and I was out in the room for 90 seconds, when I came back, he was gone,” Strickland said.
Strickland took the next several months to focus on herself.
“It gave me a chance to reflect that Ryan and I had worked so hard to just get approved all the hurdles we had to jump that I just couldn’t throw it all away,”
But when life got tough, Strickland kept going because she wanted to do whatever it took to be a mom. Strickland started the process again, this time to file as a single foster parent.
Now, a seven-month-old and 3-year-old bring her joy. She started the three-to-six-month adoption process and hopes to adopt her oldest next year.
“I love being a mom. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Even on the hard days, because it makes the good days that much sweeter,” she said.
Strickland hopes to inspire others to become foster parents and encourage people if they can’t become foster parents, to give back to foster children.
Strickland has built community support from friends, and family and organizations such as Embrace Washington.
She currently relies on the bus, her mom, and friends to get her children to school and doctors’ appointments. Embrace Washington is raising funds so that Strickland can use Uber and Lyft during the winter.
It takes three to four buses to get her to her child’s school and back home. All while having to load and unload the stroller and juggle her two children.
“It’s a lot and its overwhelming. But we do what we got to do it because that’s how we get around,” Strickland.
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