Vicki had always loved 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 working friends. 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 approved foster parents and have since cared for over 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,” said Vicki. “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.”
Vicki and David had no intention of adopting, even though Children’s Bureau had asked them on several occasions. However, that all changed in March 2006 when they were matched with a five-month-old boy named Joseph. Joseph had been abused and neglected by his birth parents and, since the parent’s situation did not improve, Joseph needed a permanent home. Children’s Bureau asked the family 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.
Shortly after, 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 separated from their family. They agreed and thought the girls would be joining the family for a short time. The girls had family in another state, however, the reunion with their birth family did not materialize. Vicki and David finalized their adoption of Amanda, age three, and Gabriella, age two, in 2011.
“I believe Joseph, Amanda and Gabriella were sent to us for a reason. They keep us young and keep us moving with all 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 training. 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.