“…he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks.”
How did you initially get involved in foster care/adoption?
I (Becca) was a social worker for kids with special needs right out of college. A lot of my clients were in foster care and I saw a lot of their world. My heart broke for the kids. Some of them I would see with their biological parents and the next week at a placement and their brokenness hurt my heart. When Craig and I started to grow our family we found out we were not able to have kids of our own. It was just a natural step to do foster care since it was something we both felt called to and had a heart for.
Tell us a little bit about your journey.
We started fostering in 2015. We have had 5 placements and 2 we are adopting. We met Angelo in 2016, he was being disrupted from his current foster home due to all of his needs, so we decided to meet him. Angelo was taken into care when he was 2, he had gone through physical abuse and neglect, as well as witnessed a lot of traumatic things. We fell in love with his sweet personality in our first meeting and he moved in a week later. Angelo’s parental rights were severed November 2017. All biological parents have the right to 3 appeals after severance and Angelos biological dad has done two. We are still waiting for the second appeal to be over and hope he does not appeal again so Angelo can finally have permanency.
We had a placement for 18 months (Zuri) since birth. She had a lot of medical issues, we loved her so much though. Zuri eventually moved to an aunt after 18 months and 9 months later reunified with her mom. When she left we decided to take a break because it was very emitionally draining for all of us including Angelo. A year later after much needed healing we decided to go back on the list. We got two short term placements that went home and then we got placed with JJ. We got JJ strait from the hospital. She had two siblings that had been in care for over 2 years that are placed with an aunt. Her mom has no contact with her and her rights were severed in September for all three children. Her aunt will be adopting her siblings and we have the privilege to adopt her January 17, 2019. We are blessed JJ will be able to have contact with her siblings as we have worked hard on keeping a relationship with her aunt.
During this process I have decided to work with biological parents as a parent aide (supervising their visits and teaching a parenting class). I have had the opportunity to see all ends and I feel God had really stretched me. It has been a blessing to work with not only my kids but touch so many kids and family’s through my work.
We plan to close our Forster care license in February to let our kids just feel permanent, and be a family for a while, and are excited for that break.
Some of the high points have been getting to be the adoptive home for Angelo and JJ. Developing a relationship with JJ and Zuris aunts was so good for the kids, and us and we loved getting to know their family and grow ours even more then kids but their extended family.
Seeing Angelo grow and heal from a lot of the hard stuff he has endured (he is diagnosed with ptsd, ADHD, anxiety disorder, mood disregulation disorder and sensory processing disorder). As hard and those things are, and as much as it stinks that his past has brought on such hard things, we have seen him grow and heal over the past 3 years and are really proud of how he is doing.
Some of the hardest parts of foster care are when kiddos leave and you are not sure the placement is the best case for them and you worry about their safety. The fact that you have NO control and a judge is making choices for your kids based on rules that are not always in the kids best interest.
But through all the hard times, knowing you made a difference in someone’s life, gave them love, and helped a family, makes it all worth it.
How can we pray for you?
Pray for us as we work with Angelo and all his special needs. That he would have healing and we would know how to parent him well.
You can pray as we work on having relationship with both our kids biological families, that we would be able to minister to them, love them and deal with some of the hard things that come up with those kinds of relationships.