Jake and Desirae began their foster care journey in a bit of an unconventional way. Already parents to their biological daughter, then almost two years old, they began caring for 22 month old who was not formally in foster care. The little boy’s mother was a friend of a friend, and she was working hard to stabilize her life. This was the first time being separated from his mother, he had extreme tantrums, and had a hard time adjusting to a schedule, new routine, and having a sibling around the same age in his new home. Jake and Desirae describe the first two to three months as a “blur”, as this toddler had so many unmet needs.
Jake and Desirae had no experience working with a biological parent. It was new territory for them, but with time and patient interactions with this little boy’s family, they went from acquaintances, to friends, to family. During the fifteen months that they were caring for this child, they discovered that “what they were doing mattered” and that they had so many “memorable and fun days”. During their time together, they were able to build strong attachments and connect the child back with his biological family and with their own family. After the child went back with his family, Jake and Desirae applied to become licensed foster parents and go through training so they can care for more children.
When asked what advice they have for first time foster parents, they say to “be ready to grow for the better in all areas”,to have a sense of humor during the difficult times, and that “its hard work but so worth it”. What surprised them the most is how hard it is emotionally. Jake and Desirae believe in the power of prayer and have a strong church family for support. They’ve learned to take one day at a time and to “go with the flow”. If you are thinking of fostering they say to remember, “It’s not about you” and “put in the fruits because it will make a difference in a child’s life”
Jake and Desirae are parents to two biological children with one on the way, and are currently fostering a sibling group of two. They live in St. Louis.