“Every Kid Needs Somebody”: A Foster Story

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“Every Kid Needs Somebody”: A Foster Story

When Emily and John first felt called to be foster parents, they also felt a little worried. Both work in the medical field and have two biological children at home. With their busy schedules, they didn’t seem like the typical foster family. But the couple kept meeting people who were either fostered or adopted, and they wanted to use their means to help children. It became clear that they were meant to foster, so Emily and John completed their certification. Little did they know that their foster story would soon lead them to three boys they plan to keep forever.

The Foster Story Begins

John remembers going for a run on a cold April morning when they got the call about Matias. A little boy, only three years old, had been found on the side of the road in only a diaper and a T-shirt. A trucker passing by saw the boy and stopped to help. After giving him a blanket, the Good Samaritan trucker called the police. Sadly, no one came looking for him, and the boy spent the night in the police station. They didn’t know his name or where he came from, but they knew he spoke Spanish. John speaks Spanish fluently.

A social worker brought the little boy to Emily and John’s house. He held a breakfast burrito that he wouldn’t let go of, he was dirty, and he was still only dressed in a diaper and T-shirt. While Emily went to get him clothes and supplies, John stayed with him to play and speak to him in Spanish.

“He was trying to make us laugh because he was scared to death,” John says.

Emily and John learned his name was Matias, and he was the youngest of seven siblings. As soon as they found out, they notified Child Protective Services (CPS), and the rest of the children were removed from the home. Matias stayed with Emily and John’s family for three months. During that time, his personality blossomed, and they couldn’t help but love him.

Second Removal

Eventually, CPS found a close friend to the biological family who said she could take all seven children. While normally this would be ideal as it keeps the children close to their loved ones, Emily and John had concerns.

“If he was going to a good situation, we would’ve fully supported that,” says Emily. “But we didn’t believe it was a good situation.”

Nevertheless, all seven kids went to live with the family friend. Emily and John kept in contact as much as possible until a few months later when Emily received a worrying phone call. One of the older sisters said Matias was on day three of a high fever. After taking him to the ER on the first day, he was prescribed antibiotics, but the family friend refused to give them to him. The caretaker also hadn’t been home in those three days since. The kids were out of food, and Matias needed medicine.

Emily urged the sister to call an ambulance, but the girl was too scared. Emily compromised by asking if John could deliver food and medicine to them. The sister agreed. Now midnight, John went to a 24-hour store and delivered the much-needed food and medicine. When he saw the situation firsthand, he called CPS. The children were once again removed, and this time, Emily and John took three of the siblings: Matias, Andres, and Carlos.

COVID-19 Quarantine

The family’s foster story has had other challenges along the way. COVID-19 struck shortly after the three boys arrived. In addition, the family had taken in another girl in foster care, and John’s mother and niece were visiting from Mexico. With lockdown and travel restrictions, the house now had seven children and three adults living under one roof for nearly three months. And like everyone else, they now had to homeschool.

“I feel like I’m talking about someone else’s life,” John laughs. “Like what a bunch of dummies!”

Yet the family all found their roles within the house. The kids got to know each other, and the adults found a balance. John’s mom often cooked for the family, which he says was fantastic because it brought Matias’, Andres’, and Carlos’ culture into the house. The boys hadn’t received much schooling before their arrival and spoke little English, but John and Emily patiently helped them catch up. In the end, quarantine became a precious bonding time for the family.

The Foster Story Becomes an Adoption Story

Once it became clear that reunification with their biological family wouldn’t be possible, Emily and John knew they wanted Matias, Andres, and Carlos to stay with their family forever. They love all three, and their biological children (who Emily and John included in every step of the foster process) do, too.

“They already feel like ours,” Emily says, “and I think they feel like we’re theirs.”

It’s been five years since that first phone call. The adoption process has been long, but Emily and John hope to make it official by the end of summer 2024. In the meantime, they say it’s been amazing to watch the boys transform into confident, secure kids. Matias loves reading, and Andres excels at math. Carlos runs for his high school’s cross-country team.

Emily and John give God all the credit for overcoming the challenges and setbacks in their journey. When life got busy and felt overwhelming, they fell back on faith. They knew they were called to foster, and they’ve seen where God has provided for their family. The couple believes anyone can foster and wishes more people understood that they don’t have to be the “typical” foster family.

“Every kid needs somebody,” John says. “It changes your heart. It makes you realize your life before wasn’t filled the way it is now.”

When you donate to For Others, you’re helping us support and uplift foster families and, most importantly, the children in their care. Give today so that we can reach more families like this.

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