Goodwin Kids-WebVicki Goodwin just loves being around kids and caring for them. She and her husband, David, have three grown children but there were always little ones in their home as Vicki provided babysitting to her friends who worked. One day, she saw a Children’s Bureau billboard promoting foster care and adoption and was interested in learning more. David was familiar with having foster children in his home as his mom was a foster parent during his middle school years. In 2005, the couple became certified foster parents and since then have cared for 30 infants.

“The best part about being a foster parent is the smile you can bring out of a scared, unsure child. We’ve mostly cared for babies but we’ve also had a few very scared toddlers. I also enjoy working with the birth families — parents and relatives. It can be challenging trying to schedule visits with everyone but I think it’s important that they know who has their kids and that they are safe,” said Vicki.

Vicki and David had no intention of ever adopting even though Children’s Bureau had asked them on several occasions. However, that all changed in March 2006 when they picked up a five-month old boy named Joseph. Joseph had been abused and neglected by his bio parents. The situation didn’t improve and Joseph needed a permanent home. Children’s Bureau asked the Goodwins if they would consider adopting him. Initially they declined, however, after talking with their older kids and building an addition to their home (the extra space was needed if they were to adopt), Vicki and David officially became Joseph’s parents on May 8, 2009.

In October 2009, Vicki and David received a call at midnight from Children’s Bureau asking if they would take two girls who had been removed from their home. They agreed and thought the placement was short term. The girls had family in another state, however, no one tried to get them. Vicki and David adopted Amanda, age three, and Gabriella, age two, on October 25, 2011.

“I believe Joseph, Amanda and Gabriella were sent to us for a reason. They keep us young and definitely moving with all of the chasing around we do. Our older children raised a few questions, especially with the recent adoption of the girls, but they love these kids so much and now appreciate how much work goes into parenting,” said Vicki.

Vicki was a mentor parent for a year through Children’s Bureau’s APSS program and continues to speak at parent support groups and foster parent trainings. She appreciates the support and encouragement she receives from the staff and knows that they are always available to her when needed. Vicki and David plan to continue being foster parents for years to come.

“There are many kids out there who just need arms to hold them, even if it’s just for a short time,” Vicki said with a smile.