Daughter follows mother’s path as foster parent

May is Foster Care Awareness Month and many children won’t be able to see their moms this Sunday for Mother’s Day due to restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic. Foster families are doing what they can, including Elbow Lake foster family Katelyn and Connor Grytdahl, who are taking care of four siblings between the ages of 2 and 10, alongside their own 7-month-old and 2-year-old.

Katelyn was inspired to become a foster parent by her own mom, Jackie Wandersee. “My three little sisters started out in foster care and then my parents adopted them,” she says. “I love kids in general, but after seeing that with my little sisters and then continuing to watch my parents do foster care over the last six years, really kind of showed me that it’s something I really wanted to do as a family as well.”

Wandersee frequently talked about wanting to become a foster parent as Katelyn was growing up and finally became one six years ago in Clara City. Wandersee, who has taken in around 40 children over those six years and is currently taking care of a child in respite along with her three young daughters, said, “When I was younger, like in elementary school, there were some kids on our bus that were in foster care, and at that point I got the information in my head about it, and then as I got older it has just always been something that just stayed with me and that I wanted to do to help kids out. That’s what planted the seed and got me started with it.”

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