Choices For Life

Planting a seed of love

We noticed that our biological children were attending school with children that seemed to need a little help.  We knew we could make a positive change in the lives of those who are less fortunate, and so that is what we set out to do.  We never dreamed that it would change our lives along the way.

When we chose to be therapeutic foster parents, we knew we were taking on a lot.  When a child comes into our home, they have a hardened heart. They are full of anger and hatred, and to be able to see those things fall away is a blessing.  We see children learn to trust and love again.  We include our biological children, 15 and 11, in the process, and they are truly positive role models for each child who has been placed in our care.

One of the greatest gifts we receive from our foster children in our care is a simple hug and the words "I love you" after their hearts were softened and they feel safe in our home.  The fact that these feelings come from the heart, and that they are learning to trust and love, is indescribable.

We learn so much from each child in our care, but our biggest lesson is never to give up on a child. They did not choose to be where they are in life. The fact that we are given the opportunity to mold them and be positive role models in their lives for the short amount of time that we have them is a blessing.  They have taught us to be dependable, caring of others, and forgiving, not only among our family members, but also towards those we meet in our everyday life.

Choices for Life has taught us not only how to be therapeutic foster parents, but how to be better parents to our biological children. Through Choices for Life we are given support from wonderful counselors who not only understand the therapeutic foster children and our own children, but they also help us deal with the changes that we are encountering in our new life.  This agency has the most loving and caring people we have ever met, and they have always provided us with everything we have needed.

Being Choices for Life therapeutic foster parents is a choice that should not be made lightly.  For us, the rewarding experience of seeing a child change from a harden heart to a happy child is what reassures us that we are doing the right thing for our family and the children out there who are in need of loving homes.  We are reassured to know that we have made a difference in a child's life.          

When we think back about all of our foster children we have had over the years, one of our greatest moments come to mind.  About four years ago we were called to pick up a therapeutic foster child.   He has lived with us for three and half years and as of this past November, his adoption was finalized.  Never in our widest dreams did we ever think we would become therapeutic foster parents and now we have been blessed with another child.

While being a foster parent has had many blessings, we have had struggles.  Challenges have presented themselves to us in many ways, but the biggest one we have come up against is the fact that siblings in the foster care system can be separated.  This is something that broke our hearts.  After caring for a child in our home who had 3 siblings in the system who were not with him, we set out to correct this and with God's help and the help of Choices for Life, we conquered the system and made it possible for his family to live together in our home.  It was hard having seven children under one roof, but these children lived with us for a year and a half until they returned home.  I know now that I did all that I could for them and having those children made us a stronger family.

As therapeutic foster care parents, we planted a seed of love and care in each of their hearts and we know that they will never forget being a part of our family.  I wrote a letter to the biological mom and told her that God truly blessed her with four angels and we were so blessed to have had them in our lives.  Being a therapeutic foster care home is a choice our family made and a choice we will never regret.