For more than 35 years, Bossier KIDS (Kids In Delicate Situations) has operated as a safe haven for thousands of children in Northwest Louisiana.
Bossier KIDS is a private foster care agency, which means they are not supplied by state funding. In 2018, the agency received recognition in Washington D.C. by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption as an Angels in Adoption Honoree.
The agency’s offices are located inside of Airline Drive Church of Christ, where several Bossier KIDS foster families attend. However, Bossier KIDS is not limited to members of Airline Drive.
The organization is overseen by a board of directors who work tirelessly to not only help the agency receive necessary funding, but also to ensure Bossier KIDS is fully prepared to continue its ultimate mission: provide love and care to children.
Kim Bigler, the founder of James Storehouse of Louisiana, recently described Bossier KIDS as “a model Christian foster care program” and “an intentional village that is on the front lines of foster care.”
Since its beginnings, several families have stepped up to the plate to care for children in the foster care system. One couple in particular has been taking children in for more than 30 years.
Allen and Elaine Spivy are longtime residents of Bossier City. Shortly after Bossier KIDS was created, Allen was asked to be on the board of directors. At this time, board members were required to attend training whether or not they intended to be foster parents.
The couple began their journey expecting to occasionally offer respite care to other foster parents, but did not think they would become certified to be foster parents.
That is until someone reached out to them about a 12-year-old girl in need of a foster home. And then, two brothers. And then, a premature baby.
Even though the couple became certified, they still never dreamed they would stay foster parents in Northwest Louisiana. Allen was quickly approaching retirement, and the couple had plans to relocate to Tennessee.
However, after Allen retired, the Board pleaded with the couple to stay and move in to one of their Bossier KIDS homes. The couple agreed, but only for two years.
Today, Allen and Elaine have remained in that very home for 30 years and have fostered 123 children.
“It’s been a good life,” Elaine said.
Shortly after the couple began their foster care journey, they received a call concerning a baby girl that was burned. When they arrived at the hospital to bring the child home, they discovered more than 40 percent of her body had been burned.
The baby needed intensive care, and the couple had to devote the majority of their time to make sure she not only survived, but also thrived. Throughout this experience, the couple grew attached to this baby girl.
“She was so special, and we didn’t want to let her go,” Elaine said.
And so the couple adopted Breanna.
Flash forward a few years later, and the couple received another call, but this one about a baby boy––Isaiah––who had been shaken. As time passed, the couple decided once again they could not let this one go.
Throughout these experiences, the couple began taking in more children who needed special attention.
“We realized somewhere along the way that God was giving us the ability to find what those children needed,” Elaine said.
While Allen and Elaine recognize fostering presents a unique set of challenges, the couple would not trade their experience for the world.
“It’s something great,” Elaine said. “It’s something that nags at your heart. It’s rewarding, it really is.”
For those that are interested in getting involved with foster care, the couple said there are several ways to serve, even if the individual is unsure of making the leap to be a foster care parent.
Along with offering respite care, which means taking in a foster child for a weekend, individuals can offer to babysit for the foster parents to go on a date, help with laundry and cleaning around the house, and donate necessary items such as bedding, towels, baby supplies and children’s clothing to foster families in need.