Chris had just started dating his now wife Ashley when she began her fostering journey. He remembers everything about the day that her foster son C., then age 3, was placed with her. He remembers what C. was wearing, that it was raining and the first time Chris saw him he was jumping in rain puddles, a distraction that Ashley found helped him stop screaming from the trauma he had suffered being separated from his mother that day. Chris was acutely aware that he was witnessing the worst day in C.’s life. C. is now 5 years old and still lives with Chris and Ashley.
Chris has since become a licensed foster parent along with Ashley. His advice to his younger pre-foster parent self would be to buckle up! He has learned to laugh more, especially when things don’t go as planned, which has been a good lesson for his “control freak nature”. There is real humor in lessons of humility, especially when taught by a 5 year old. Chris has been most surprised at the wide range of emotions, often pulling simultaneously; reunification vs. staying with them forever, happy during the fun times but sad that C.’s parents are missing out on this time with him. Chris and Ashley have developed a friendship with C.’s great grandparents who see C. often and recently attended Chris and Ashley’s wedding.
Chris has delighted in seeing the skills that C. has learned while in their home. He can better talk about his feelings, is excelling in school, is starting to read, and is better able to control his anger and tantrums. Chris has felt appreciated and respected especially when it was said in court that C.’s mother is beyond grateful for the care that Chris and Ashley are giving to her son. To Chris foster parents are heroes and every child deserves a hero.