These Back-To-School Photos Are Making People Laugh And Highlighting The Joys Of Being Foster Parents

"We really need to create more awareness and help these kids find forever homes."

The Internet is filled with joyful back-to-school photos and sentimental shots celebrating the milestone. There are many images of parents smiling as their little ones are heading back to class, but the Gardners' photos of mom Keshia Gardner jumping for joy as her kids take on their first day, are using humor to bring attention to the importance and widespread need for foster care.

The Alabama-based mom explained on the Love What Matters Facebook page that she and her husband, Andy, have fostered over 40 kids throughout the years, and, each year, they take back-to-school photos with their biological, step, and foster children.

Though the photos show different kids every year, the thing that's consistent is Gardner's happy leap in the air. 


"Being foster parents has been the most rewarding experience of our lives. We started this journey because we wanted to be a blessing to others, but we are the ones receiving the biggest blessing."

She adds, "Sometimes, they come into our lives for a season and sometimes for a lifetime. We still stay in touch with most of our foster children that have aged out of the system, and it warms our hearts when we get phone calls and visits on special occasions. There are good times and bad, but the happy moments always outweigh the sad. Even in times when our hearts break, we still whisper through our tears 'It is worth it.' "

Gardner continues that the family doesn't differentiate between any of their children; they are simply a blended family of biological, step, and foster kids. And the photo series reflects that.

For the 2017 photos, Gardner reveals on Facebook that the family threw the kids a back-to-school party on their farm, complete with balloons and animals.

The photo shows Gardner doing her signature jump with the kids looking a wee bit forlorn.

This year's photos were extra special because Andy also got involved. He's seen posing in a glitter-covered portable pool with an inflatable flamingo and balloons on the side. In his hand is a mug labeled, "World's Okayest Dad."

Gardner also included previous first-day-of school photos to show their evolution.

Scroll down to see the Gardners' back-to-school photos from the last few years:

The mom explained in the post, "Anytime I can make someone laugh and share about our passion for foster care, it's a win, win!"

She told WHNT19 that people have contacted her and revealed how her photos of her foster family have inspired them. "I've had several people [say] that they are blown away, and a lot of them said, 'I know that's what I need to do now is be a foster parent. That makes me so happy because we really need to create more awareness and help these kids find forever homes."


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