Jason is a Payroll Coordinator for The Keystone Group and Jonathan is a Sign Language Interpreter for RI School for the Deaf

Why did you decide to foster? We wanted to start a family by adopting a child. We did not enter into the program to ‘foster’ per se but intended to start our family through an adoption program.  However, when the opportunity came along to start our family with a child in foster care, we opened our hearts to the idea.  This meant we would foster this little girl hoping she would become  legally available for adoption. On August 15th, 2014 we met our new daughter. She had been in the foster care system since birth. Katie is now three years old and has been with us for 2 ½ years.  We have had the opportunity to see our daughter grow, learn, and become an amazingly smart, sweet, and loving little girl. We too have grown, learned and become different and stronger people because of her.

How long have you been foster parents? We have been licensed foster parents since 2013.

How many children have you fostered since you became licensed foster parents? Katie is our only foster child.

Do you have children of your own?  What are their ages? We did not have any children before Katie, but we do have eight nephews and nieces ranging in ages from 14 to 23 with another one due in June.  They come to our house often and have a close bond with Katie.

How would you describe your foster experience? LIFE CHANGING!  We always wanted a family but just like most new parents, we were not sure what to expect.  When Katie first arrived home, we were completely overwhelmed.  We have been two guys living a life without children, and we instantly found ourselves learning on the spot and in the moment. We learned about the needs of our  baby girl  and how to address them.  We have loved every minute.  Every moment with our daughter has been a positive, loving and wonderful experience.  Katie is an amazingly smart, funny, and caring child that is becoming a strong and well-adjusted little girl.

What would you tell others who are considering becoming foster parents? GO FOR IT! If you are considering becoming a foster parent, we suggest you have an open and honest discussion with yourself, your spouse, or your partner about what would be the best fit for your family.  Do an honest inventory of your strengths and weaknesses so you will understand what you can and cannot give to a child coming into your home. Follow your gut, as you will know when the placement is the right fit.  You want this to be a win-win situation, – for the child finally finding a safe and loving home and for you as you expand your family.

Develop a positive relationship with your foster care team members so they truly understand who you are and so they can provide the proper support and guidance along the way.  Know that it is ok to ask questions about the process.  When we were approached about having Katie placed with us, we asked questions and knew immediately and without hesitation she was the right match for us. Due to our self-inventory, reflection and asking the right questions, our family is now complete and happy.