Guest post by Dave Farguharson, Staff Member of Eckerd Community Alternatives | Pasco & Pinellas
“We’re getting up in years …” Those were some of Debbie and Kenny Adams first words to me about who they are and why they began this voyage into foster care. A few years earlier, Debbie and Kenny found themselves raising their grandson and they begin to think that if they could do that, then why not also share their hearts and their home with other children not as fortunate as their grandchild? They asked themselves a very haunting question, what would have happen if we weren’t there for our grandson?
Because Debbi and Kenny believe that every child deserves a safe place to live, they began the process of becoming licensed foster parents in August of 2015. Walking into those first few PPT (Professional Parenting Training) classes really got their attention. Debbie shared that they had no idea that the need for foster parents was so great, and at times everything seemed a bit overwhelming to them until the night in class when a teen foster child came and spoke. The teen girl shared the ways in which her foster parent had made her feel safe and loved. She went on to say that the foster mother became like a mentor to her and helped her turn her life around. Debbie shared that it was that moment in time when she realized it only takes one person to change a negative into a positive. Debbie said, “It’s like saving a life.”
The Adams completed their foster parent training and became licensed in October of 2015. Within two weeks of being licensed, there was a phone call from their licensing specialist asking if they would be willing to accept a sibling group of three boys into their home ages, ages 4, 8, and 10. They did not hesitate.
The biological mother of their foster children later told Debbie that the boys did not have any grandparents, to which Debbie responded, “of course they do.” The mother reiterated that there was no extended family for support or to care for her children. “Well, there is now,” Debbie replied.
During the second week that the boys were living with Debbie and Kenny, the oldest one came into the living room and gave Debbie a hand written card. She opened up the card and read these words: “Thank you for being so good to me, and Papa too. I love you, and I love Papa too. You took us in because you wanted to help kids, but you are good at it.” The card had a big heart drawn on its cover! Debbie told me that the card is going into her Bible and will stay with her for the rest of her life.
It seems that it really does only take one person to change a negative into a positive. As Debbie Adams says, “It’s like saving a life.”