"The biggest joy for us is the joy of having a child in your home," Mrs. Griffis said.
And, like she and her husband, Cherokee County residents continue to step up to the plate and open their homes to displaced children.
As of Aug. 31, the number of active foster homes in Cherokee County was 76, a slight increase from 73 from Aug. 31, 2008.
The number of children in Cherokee in foster care has dropped considerably during the same time. As of Aug. 31, the number was 212, down from the 331 that were in foster care on the same date in 2008.
The county Department of Family and Children Services' partnership with Embrace is credited with sustaining the number of foster homes in the county, said Chantel Evans, administrative support director with the Georgia Department of Human Resources. Embrace is a state-sponsored program that works to support and retain foster parents.
Ms. Evans also credited Amy Blanton of the Clayton community, Embrace's foster parent liaison, with strengthening "communication between foster parents, the community and the agency."
To further strengthen the bond and to continue providing support, the first Walk Me Home ... To The Place I Belong 5K fundraiser will be conducted to raise money for foster families.
The walk at 10 a.m. on Oct. 3 at Canton's Heritage Park is sponsored by the county and the Adoptive and Foster Parent Association of Georgia, an affiliate with the National Foster Parent Association.
Along with the walk, there will be festival-type activities such as face painting, music, arts and crafts, and vendors.
According to President Marie Blackwell of Waleska, the local foster parent association is hoping to raise at least $10,000, which will be used for training and to assist foster families with other needs.
Walk Me Home is organized by the national organization to help the nation's estimated 513,000 children in foster care.
Mrs. Blackwell, who said she and her husband have been foster parents to 20 children in as many years, said the fundraiser would pay for the necessities some in the community don't think about.
Along with training, the association helps with babysitting, support groups, child pick-up at schools, networking and even financial support.
The association also coordinates meetings and seminars to address topics such as discipline and sexual abuse.
Mrs. Blanton said often times, foster parents struggle with finding doctors that will accept Medicaid; with purchasing items such as clothing and food; and with having the funds to give foster children normal lives.
Both she and Mrs. Blackwell said with the economic downturn, the need for foster families might grow, as children can potentially be affected by biological parents' financial woes.
"Sometimes, if you're losing your job and you can't feed your kids, you may start taking it out on your kids," Mrs. Blackwell said, noting those cases are extreme and not the norm.
Along with retaining parents, Mrs. Blanton said the work to add more foster homes in the county would never cease. The cycle, she said, repeats every six to eight years.
"I think there's always a need for foster families," she said. "You will always have to replenish the cycle."
Since she and her husband have been foster parents, Mrs. Griffis has learned communication is vital to ensuring a foster child has as much as he or she needs to be healthy, she said.
Just one mishap, she said, could cause a child to miss scheduled visitations or even doctor's appointments.
Along with being able to bond with children, being a foster parent could give you so much insight into what children go through once their home life is disrupted, Mrs. Griffis said
The little things - reading books at night, going outside to play - are the moments she and many foster parents cherish every day.
Often labeled as problem children, foster children usually are just misunderstood and have a "bad rap" because of situations that were beyond their control, Mrs. Griffis said.
"They are really good kids," she said. "They need just a little more time and affection because they weren't getting it before."