Meet Havah & Timothy:
After having two biological children, Havah and Timothy began exploring their options for adoption to help local kids in their community. However, after learning more about the system, they discovered that foster care was a better fit for their family and found Children’s Bureau after contacting multiple agencies.
They quickly began the process to become resource parents and welcomed their first foster child into their family over seven years ago. Since then, they have welcomed several foster children into their family and finalized three adoptions. They have also inspired multiple friends and family members to foster as well.
Continue reading to learn more about their journey in their interview with Children’s Bureau.
How did you find Children’s Bureau and why did you choose to foster or foster-adopt through this agency?
After deciding to explore adoption, we became very discouraged by the large fees required by adoption agencies. Our heart was to help a child in need, but at that point we did not fully understand that it was foster care we were looking for. After doing a bunch of research and talking to some friends we learned about foster family agencies; we called and emailed a few in our local area. When we talked to the foster/adopt matcher from Children’s Bureau we found restored hope in our dream. She was so kind to us and explained the program and congruent planning. We knew this is what we were looking for.
What was the process of becoming a resource parent and how long did it take?
The first time it took less than 6 months, although we had a lot of classes and details to fix up at our house as we worked through the process. We had to wait a few extra months for our trainings because of schedules, but those did prove to be so valuable. The second time around we flew through the process in a few months.
What inspired you to become resource parents and how has it changed your life?
Havah had the desire first, her heart was inspired after taking a Sociology of Women class in college. Seeing generations of brokenness and knowing there was a way to help a few kids out was very inspiring. After having two biological kids and one miscarriage, we decided it was time to jump into this new journey. Initially we kept saying we would do it when we were older and more mature, but then we joked we are just getting older, haha. This has truly been one of the hardest and most amazing experiences of our lives!
We have been so blessed by the journey, and we are about to start again. Since the first child joined our family over 7.5 years ago, we have encouraged many friends and family members to join this foster journey and that has made it even sweeter.
How have you helped the children transition back to their families? What was that like for you?
We were on the foster/ adoption track from the beginning. The first child to join our family was an emergency placement. A little girl whose name they didn’t even know. We said “YES” and after three years in foster care we were able to finalize her adoption. Our second call was a little different, a boy being moved quickly who was likely to be adopted. We said yes again and two years later his adoption was finalized.
My sister started to foster around the same time and as a family we have said goodbye to about eight foster “cousins” whom we fell instantly in love with. Some children were with us as short as two weeks and another 10 months. It has been hard at times, but each time our hearts break, they grow back bigger and stronger and more in love with caring for those that need it.
What were the birth parents/family like and how much contact do you have with them?
We have some contact with our daughters’ grandmother and younger brother for whom she is the guardian. It is a little hard with her because she has a different communication style than me, but we have gotten together a few times and exchange pictures around the holidays, so that is nice.
Our son’s parents are still together and recently got married and have additional kids that they are caring for. We have a sweet relationship with them and see them a few times a year. I text with her often and she asks me for advice, it’s sweet. They support us having him in our family and acknowledge that it was for the best and they see how much he is loved.
How did you incorporate the birth parents/family into your child’s life?
I usually invite them to the kid’s soccer games each season. I also have pictures of them in the kids’ rooms and I try and answer any questions about them with love and age-appropriate honesty. My daughter has more questions about her mom that I cannot answer, but I tell her the truth, “Your mom loved you so much, she just couldn’t keep you safe.” And she always agrees.
How has Children’s Bureau helped you on this journey?
So much! My case worker Laura was always there for me and so knowledgeable. She really knew some good insights into the system that would calm me down when I was feeling overwhelmed or panicked. She supported me and was there on each day my children were adopted.
How did you manage your and other family member’s feelings when a child goes to live with another family?
We cry and pray for them. We know that we played our role in their lives.
What challenges have you faced as a resource parent and what have you learned?
We really learned what a puzzle piece child is. We have learned to have boundaries with rude strangers asking personal questions about our family and know when to share and when to not. We have been able to hear people’s stories who were in foster care as children and see healing through this.
Tell us about your children today and their interests.
Our oldest just graduated high school and is moving out in the fall.:( We are so proud of her.
Our second is 16 and a jr in high school. He will be driving soon and that will be a huge help. He is constantly teaching the little ones about everything, especially how to help with his chores, they love the attention.
Our 11-year-old boy and girl are four months apart and in 6th grade. They are best friends and just as cute as can be. Amazing athletes as well, they are currently enjoying soccer season and homeschooling with lots of hobbies. They are phenomenal readers and artists. They have changed all our lives for the better.
Our family just added a new member less than 2 years ago! He is now 6 and adopted. We love him so much!! I have never met anyone who loves being a part of a family more than him. He is obsessed with all of us and his cousins. He plays sports and is almost reading. He has challenged me in new ways physically and mentally. He has a big personality and can make friends with anyone and everyone. He is helping each of us grow and become better people and we are parents because of him.