May 28 – Terry and Kathy – Eaton County
To love and be loved
Terry and Kathy spent nearly 50 years married, talking about everything from their dreams for the future to what they were planning that particular afternoon. They spent those years learning from difficult situations and celebrating the joys that came with being together as a family. One of those difficult situations was becoming licensed foster parents while serving as primary caregivers for a family member. Raising a second generation brought many rewards, including the fulfillment of giving their family member a sense of security, developing a deeper relationship, and keeping their family together. It also came with many challenges. No matter how much Kathy and Terry love their family, taking a child into in to their home required major adjustments. Terry and Kathy made those adjustments together. They secured the right guidance and support, while making a real difference in the lives of their family members. Kathy and Terry found the joy in the differences they made and as a result, began providing care for youth in foster care who are not related.
Cherishing human connections
The family endured the loss of Kathy in April 2016, which has left an emptiness that is hard to fill. Yet, Terry and the youth residing in the home are supporting one another through their individual process of grieving. Terry works to be open, honest and loving, creating an environment where experiencing the loss of someone loved is a chance for the youth in the home to learn about the joy and pain that comes from caring deeply for others. By continuing to serve in the role of parent who fosters, Terry commemorates Kathy’s life and is ensuring that the commitment they made to provide a safe and stable placement for the youth residing in the home is kept. Terry and the youth continue to make memories, while reflecting on those created with Kathy as memories are one of the best legacies that exist.>