People would always think of my wife and I as doing something great taking in all these kids, keeping siblings together, and all the work and sacrifice involved in doing that––but we always thought the same for those willing to help us! We felt as though this was just what we are supposed to be doing, no big deal. But these other volunteers who have their own lives, and in most cases, their own children, were willing to help us… Those people were incredible to us! Just the fact that we had someone else willing to assist us and the kids in all the ways they did was really priceless. If people don’t have that extra support, they may not continue pushing through the struggles that most definitely come up with kids in foster care––and just give up. I’m willing to bet that if you could see the amount of families who stayed together because they had the support when they needed it most, it would be far greater than families who didn’t have support. All of this support helped, and not to mention, the long-term benefits that the kids gain through the additional relationship. It was important to us to have important moments during their growth and development where they had that feeling of being loved by as many around them as we could get. While the actual program was only temporary, I believe it had lifelong effects.
We were in the program for a year and would have continued had we still remained in foster care, but after a very long journey my wife and I were able to finally adopt all five and we are now a forever home!
- Ryan, foster/adoptive dad
(Photos by Amanda Hoffman Art)