Today we are happy to feature a side to adoption we haven’t shared yet, and that is Adoption through Foster Care! Thank you to the Popenbergs for sharing so much great information with us on this!
“Foster care and adoption were always something in the back of my mind from a very early age. My family was like that, we took in kids and family members all the time. In 2007, newly married and recently transplanted to Columbus, OH, I happened upon a presentation at the State House put on by Franklin County Children Services. Grabbing some pamphlets I took them home to my husband, Nick, so that I could convince him that this could be something to look into. We didn’t have any kids of our own yet and we had time and energy to give to a child in need. That next January we started the process to become foster parents. I always tell my friends that show interest in foster care that it’s really no walk in the park. There is a lot of paperwork and classes to take before you can become licensed and although Nick and I, being Navy Vets, were used to paperwork I could see where the process could seem daunting. There is a background check, fingerprinting, home study, letters of recommendation and all the classes which took us around 7 months to get through. In the beginning of August we received our license for Foster to Adopt care, about two weeks later we were picking up little Jaren from the hospital. Getting an infant is not typical, and getting a child as quickly as us isn’t either, and that is the first thing they say when classes start. We were very lucky and blessed to have gotten the call for Jaren!
Now every agency is different and had different guidelines concerning the process to terminate parental rights. In the case of our sons, both of the biological parents had multiple other children who had been or were currently in foster care. Although reunification with the family is always the initial goal, the time frame for them to make progress on their case plan went from one year to 6 months. When Jaren was 6 months old, Children’s Services started the very long process of asking the court to terminate the parental rights so that we could adopt. During this time, we were again blessed as we added Asher to our family. Jaren and Asher are full biological brothers and have lived with us since birth. They had very minimal family contact with the exception of an older half sister who they love and adore to this day and an older half brother with medical issues, but a wonderful family who loves to keep up with the boys. A couple weeks over three years after Jaren was born parental rights were terminated and the boys were officially put up for adoption. We worked as hard and as fast as we could to get all of our stuff in order and two months later we were sitting in a room with a judge and social workers changing names and becoming legal! A few months after this, I was pregnant with our third boy, Beau and this January we welcomed our fourth boy, Gage.
We are now a happy family full of boys who love each other more than anything. There is always some concern about issues that could come up later due to the circumstances of their birth, but we are taking that one step at a time. Foster care was tough on us, but it made the end result all the more wonderful and if I can convince Nick again, I hope we can become foster parents once more!”
If you want more details on Fostering a child head here!
Photography – Angie Arthur and Stephanie’s Creations Photography