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Portrait of Jamie and Andrew

Fostering Through Their Fears, Finding Support and Love

Connor Robinson

Small, but mighty, Jamie and Andrew’s family is growing in both size and strength through foster care. After enduring the loss of a miscarriage and the heartache of infertility, Jamie and Andrew weren’t ready to give up on their dream of growing their family and turned to adoption. Deeply moved by stories they heard at a foster care and adoption panel, the couple took one look at each other, and “knew we had to do this.”

When asked about some of their biggest fears and reservations about becoming foster parents, Jamie shared that she worried about how friends and family would react. Would they be accepting and supportive of their decision and of the children that would enter their home? Would they love them like any other child? Meanwhile, Andrew was concerned with “trying to care for a child with needs beyond what I could meet.”

Since completing the licensure process, the family has faced their fears (with great results). Jamie shared that the family has “been overwhelmed by the support we have been given and still receive today.”   She also shared that while some are not as supportive as she had hoped, “Those who are, outweigh the sadness of those who aren’t.”  Andrew, who has also found strength in that support said, “It is a lot less scary when you know you don’t have to do this alone.”

In addition to the support they have received from their family and their agency, the family notes, “One of the biggest supports for us is having another married couple who also has infertility issues and are fostering with intent to adopt, as they completely understand what we are going through and feeling.” Finding this personal connection so beneficial, support groups were the first thing that they mentioned when asked what would be most helpful for current foster parents. Jamie shared that while they “have family that is supportive and helpful, there can never be too many – someone to help babysit, make sure you can get your self-care in, and so on.”  As a result, she encourages families considering foster care to “surround yourself with people who are supportive and committed to helping children.”

Like many other new foster parents, Jamie and Andrew “were afraid that the emotional toll of getting attached and reunification with birth families would be too much for us.” When asked how they feel now, Andrew stated, “I now know that it is an absolute blessing to become attached to a child that needs you, even if it is only temporary. I would not trade anything for my (child).” Jamie added that when they accepted their first placement, they “were surprised to be attached to the child by just having the name and age.”

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