For Steve White, working as the Resource Foster Parent Coordinator for KVC Kentucky is more than just a job. The work he does to recruit foster parents and find caring homes for children who have experienced abuse and neglect feels more like a personal calling. White knows firsthand the joys and challenges that foster parents experience because he was a foster parent before coming to work for KVC. He and his wife even adopted their three children from foster care. White is sharing his story below with the hope that it will inspire others to become a foster parent or adopt from foster care.
“My wife Paige and I had been married for eight years when we decided it was time to expand our family. It was always our hope and vision to someday have children, and we of course envisioned babies! We tried for several years to have a baby, but unfortunately we experienced three miscarriages. We felt very let down from these failed attempts, and our doctor finally said there was “no more trying.” Still determined to grow our family, we decided to pursue foster care and domestic adoption.
We completed our foster parent training classes as well as the home study. It wasn’t long after that we got a phone call asking if we could care for two Latino brothers. The boys – a 13-month-old and a 2-year-old – had been physically abused and neglected by their young teenage mother and her boyfriend. They only spoke Spanish, and I remember the social worker saying that we would be a perfect fit for them, although my wife and I knew absolutely no Spanish! We had no clue what we were getting into, but we managed to pray over it and felt called to lead, just as God had called Abraham. We told the social worker, “Yes, bring ‘em on!”
The boys’ first night in our home was met with a touch of anxiety but overall excitement. They arrived at our home with two bags full of clothes and shoes that didn’t fit. We quickly realized we were going from 15 years of being “Steve and Paige” to overnight parents with two young children who did not speak or understand English. We loved the boys immediately, and they grew to love us as well.
Just when we thought we had a new “fuller house,” the social worker informed us that the boys’ mother had a third newborn baby that would be entering foster care. We wanted the boys to stay connected to their new brother, so we told the social worker that we would care for the newborn. We arrived at the hospital and walked into the room where the baby was, and immediately knew that our family had just become whole!
We finalized the adoption of Steven, Fernando and David “Brennan” on December 23, 2007.
For me, I experience the importance of being a foster and adoptive parent every day when I look at my three sons. My wife and I said yes to caring for these boys, even when there were a million reasons to say no. It was the best decision we ever made and I am passionate about recruiting others to experience the joy in caring for a child in need.
If you have ever thought about becoming a foster parent or have questions, I would love to talk with you! I can be reached at email@example.com. You can also learn more about fostering by downloading this free resource!
At KVC Kentucky, our ultimate goal is to work with families to resolve conflicts or disruptions and learn healthy skills so that children can safely return home. The majority of children who enter our foster care program are safely reunited with their families. If reunification is not possible, the goal becomes adoption, custodianship or, for older youth, independent living. It is also not uncommon for children to be adopted by their foster parents, just as Steve did with the children in his care.