Local Family is Fostering Seven Children

There are more than 6500 children in Wisconsin up for adoption.

Some of those children are being cared for by foster families.

For Jessica and Marc Benzakein juggling seven children is no small task.

"We get up on time and the kids have a schedule for them. They know what they're to do in the morning and what we're to do in the morning."

The question on how they do it may not be as surprising as why they do it.

"I aged out of the foster care system myself,” said Jessica Benzakein.

Jessica's mother signed over her rights to her daughter when Jessica was just 12 years old.

She says she wanted to give kids in foster care something she didn't always have a friendly place to call home.

"A lot of times it's providing normalcy and there is nothing wrong with you and you're not broken, and you need to imagine tomorrow,” said Jessica Benzakein.

Jessica says she focused on school and succeeding and tries to pass that message on to the kids.

"Not everybody in foster care grows up to be a bad guy or a bad kid, there are success stories," said Jessica Benzakein.

The Coalition of Children, Youth, and Families says the need is growing for families like Jessica and Marc because many foster parents are retiring.

"Every month in Wisconsin, anywhere from 300 to 400 children come into care and need a safe place to stay,” said Oriana Carey, CEO Coalition Children Youth and Families.

For her husband, he wants other potential foster parents to know the rewards are endless.

"When you bring in foster kids the rewards go both ways, it's not just look what we're doing for you, it's also a lot of look what these kids are doing for us, and our family."

They say they're sharing their story in hopes of reaching others who are ready to be parents.

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