Friday, September 24, 2010
Love & Appreciation for an FLS Foster Family
FLS has 8 foster families who work directly with our agency to provide transitional care for infants until all parental rights have been terminated. These families give selflessly of their time, families, and homes to give 100% to the infants who join their families for a short time. I stumbled upon this post that was written by an adoptive family who adopted their daughter, Grace, earlier this year and was given permission to share it with you. It is a beautiful tribute to the foster family who had a part in their family's adoption story.
As many of you know Grace was in foster care for the first four months of her life. I know many people think of the "foster care" term in a negative light, however, Grace had the most incredible foster parents we lovingly call Mommy Cheryl and Daddy Gary.
First let me give you a little background on Mommy Cheryl and Daddy Gary. They are a wonderful Christian couple who love the Lord and it is very evident. Gary and Cheryl have three adopted children themselves Becca, Jason and Debbie. Becca and Jason are in college and Debbie is a high school senior. Gary and Cheryl have been fostering, I believe, for 8 - 10 years. They only foster babies from the adoption agency (Family Life Services) we received Grace from. Needless to say they have LOTS of experience and it shows!
Everyone knows how much of a gift Grace is to Eric and I, but she started out as unexpected gift to the Sumner family. In December Gary lost his job where he had been employed for many years. The Sumner kiddos were home for Christmas break and after Christmas they got a call that they would be fostering a baby girl until her forever family could get her. Grace entered the world....December 28 and from what the Sumners have explained to us she was an angel from the beginning. A couple of weeks later, Becca and Jason headed back to college and Grace had the privilege of getting undivided attention from Daddy Gary and Mommy Cheryl. They took her everywhere church (never missed a Sunday, even her first week of life), out to eat, errands, and high school events. Debbie was able to spend alot of time with her and it was evident even at four months they had a special bond. Grace adored Daddy Gary and would always give him big smiles. In just the little time we spent with Gary and Cheryl after our placement ceremony (a day and a night) Mommy Cheryl had the touch to calm Grace and soothe her.
I had many people tell me once we got her home, we received an angel baby. Eric and I never had to endure sleepless nights and we pretty much have a happy camper all the time! I attribute alot of Grace's transition and easy goingness to Mommy Cheryl and Daddy Gary. They will not take credit for it. They say Grace was blessed with a wonderful temperment. It is clear to me they played a big part in it all!
A couple of weeks ago we went home (my folks home) and had the privilege of spending some time with Daddy Gary and Mommy Cheryl. We had dinner at our favorite place, Cracker Barrel. Apparently Grace had been there quite a few times in the first four months of her life. As we were drving to VA I realized we had had Grace for four months the same amount of time the Sumners had Grace. I realized how much love Eric and I have for the precious little one God entrusted to us. It made me realize once again how difficult it must have been for them to put her in our car (April 24) that last time and watch us drive off.
I remember speaking to Cheryl the day she was handing Grace over to us. Cheryl said, "we love and get attached to our babies if we didn't we wouldn't be doing our job." Gary and Cheryl, thank you for being obedient in your call to be foster parents and loving our Hannah Grace as she was one of your own. We will never forget and will continue to visit this incredible family who loved and guarded our little girl until it was God's timing for us to come and make her our own.
We love you!
Eric, Heidi and Grace
P.S. - God provided Daddy Gary a new job soon after Grace came to live us.