First-time foster parents, who are also approved to be adoptive parents, learn very quickly when they receive their first foster child that there are ‘no guarantees.’ “No guarantees’ meaning the foster child placed in your home will be able to be adopted. Our preplacement training classes help prepare our foster parents for the hard work that lies ahead in fostering a child who is new to their family; who regularly visits their biological family members; who has the internal conflicts that go along with visiting their bio family and leaving them (usually weekly) and returning to their foster home. All that, in addition to the trauma that child has experienced through their initial placement away from their bio family and perhaps, abuse and neglect resulting from that bio family’s own issues. Our classes are intended to help prepare foster parents but they are no substitute for the actual experience of being a foster parent.
I tell our foster parents that their home is to be an ‘Island Of Safety’ until such time that a court official decides that child’s next move. The bottom line is a permanent home. A permanent home can mean any member of the bio family; someone who is approved as a legal guardian; or an adoptive family. It’s a home they can call theirs for the rest of their lives.
Let’s fast forward to a day in early September, 2016 when two of our foster/adoptive families finally concluded years of dedication, unconditional love and care, positive interaction with bio family, delays in court proceedings and patience…so much patience.
Can’t say enough about Steven and Bettina Kawczak or about their bio son and daughters: Ethan. Elena and Felicity.
Can’t say enough about Dave and Angie Tinter or about their daughter, Franchesca.
Can’t say enough about George and Peggy Hurst because they ‘set the stage’ for their two wonderful daughters; Bettina and Angie by adopting children during their early years..
They are adoptive families of children that they have fostered. These children have permanency now and it is so very, very good.
Through the excellent coordination of the folks (thanks Eddie) at Cuyahoga County Probate Court, we were able to get these two families in Judge Laura Gallagher’s courtroom on the same day to finalize and celebrate the adoption of the last three children of the SEVEN children adopted by the Kawcazk and Tinter families! That’s right S-E-V-E-N.
“A picture.” they say, “is worth a thousand words.”
Sorry it’s a little blurry…my emotions got in the way of my phone.
Ain’t it the truth!