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From heartache to hope...

As we continue our year of telling real stories of families choosing to love our most vulnerable children in foster care, today we have the pleasure to share a story of great loss turned to a future of healing and hope. I know you will be encouraged as much as we were.

Tell us a little about your family and foster journey

My journey to foster care started in 2011. I became pregnant with our 3rd child. My pregnancy seemed to be going very well and we were so excited to meet this little guy. At 20 weeks everything started to change. I am an insulin dependent diabetic and just like my other two children I was sent to a specialist to oversee my pregnancy. We did the ultrasound at the specialist with the tech and then patiently waited for the doctor to come in and talk to us. When the doctor came into the room he sat beside me and put his hand on my leg and told me there was not going to be a baby. The huge monitor was still on and as I looked at my baby kicking and sucking his thumb, I began to sob. He advised me to take a pill that would end my pregnancy. I am very much a Christian and believed in my miracle. I decided to carry my child full term and hope for the best. We delivered him by c-section and was able to spend the most precious 2 hours and 15 minutes with him. He passed away in my arms and at that moment I felt this gentle whisper on my ear. "Momma I am fine, please go and take care of all the children that need you”.

From that moment the seed was planted to care for other children. I have the most burning desire to take care of as many children that might need us. My husband and I started with 2 foster children in our home. From that moment on my passion for sibling groups started to grow. My husband and I now have a sibling group of 4 along with my two biological children. It takes the whole family to keep up with our daily schedules and routines. My husband and I are both school teachers at our local high school and have had so much support from our co-workers anytime we get a placement or I have to run to their school because one of them is having a hard day. I constantly advocate for my children whether it's with foster care or my students at school.

Knowing what you know now, would you do it all over again?

Yes, I would definitely do it all over again. I only wished we would have started sooner. But timing is everything and I truly believe we are in God's timing. Helping these children for a day or for the rest of their lives is life changing for them and us. We give them the love and family support they need and desire. They teach us things every day.

How long do you think you will be foster parents?

I truly believe that I will be a foster parent as long as I possibly can. When God gives you a purpose and feeds the desires of your heart you are very driven. Although fostering is difficult at times, there are more rewards that outweigh the difficulties.

How has FCAO played a role in your foster journey?

FCAO has helped me by having a support group to lean on. I love to read peoples comments and know that I am not alone in my journey. I am also able to ask questions and get answers from people that have had similar experiences. Every situation is unique and different but everyone needs their village to lean on.

How long have you been a part of FCAO?

I have been apart of FCAO for about a year now.

How important is community to you?

Community is extremely important to me. They are your roots and your support system. Like I said before it takes a village and when you are raising children that have been abused and through trauma your community of people is very important.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming a foster parent?

I would encourage you to jump in with both feet and help these children. If you have ever thought of fostering or have had the desire to help children, now is the time. There is a community out there that will help you through the process and encourage you when you need it. We are here to answer your questions and to lean on. These children are so worth it and honestly they will change your hearts and lives in the best way.

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