20 Mar Matt and Patti
“We became Angels foster parents four years ago and are currently fostering our 7thplacement*. These seven beautiful babies have ranged in age from birth to 16 months old. The majority of our little ones came into foster care because of drug exposure and neglect, but our two most recent cases have also suffered physical abuse and trauma. We strive to meet their individual needs by offering constant care, a lot of attention, a warm family environment, and definitely some pampering. With a background and education in child development, I was ecstatic to go from part time to full time stay-at-home mom two years ago. I try to provide a variety of enriching experiences and encouragement for our young children.
“Our goal as foster parents has been to offer each child unconditional love and acceptance. We have found that each case is a new adventure over which we have little to no control, but we enter these adventures with a determination to love that baby whether it is for two days, two years, or forever! We treasure the memories of each of our foster babies, and were abundantly blessed to adopt a brother and sister in August 2008.
“About a year ago, we picked up a three month old baby with many broken bones from one elbow all the way down to both ankles. We learned that this little guy had also been exposed to drugs and showed signs of developmental delay. It was a new and heart wrenching experience for me. The speed and intensity with which I bonded to this newest baby while watching the physical pain and emotional trauma his tiny body was suffering was incredible. One moment in particular sticks out in my mind… it was the moment during one of our follow-up visits to Children’s Hospital when the large cumbersome cast was removed and I saw those tiny legs for the first time. I was the only there to provide comfort as our foster baby cried out in pain. I was the one this fragile child was depending on to rebuild trust and to make the world seem right again. It still brings me to tears thinking of this awesome responsibility and privilege we have to really make a difference.
“We have watched this determined baby go from no mobility whatsoever to rolling over, crawling, standing, and walking all in a matter of months. Nightmares and fear were quickly replaced by confidence and curiosity. This baby is the opposite of developmentally delayed, actually ahead of his peers and a precocious fifteen month old. Vocal, happy, and thriving describes this Angels success story. I treasure every day we have together.
“Being a part of Angels has changed our lives for the better. We have grown and changed perhaps more than the babies we are trying to help. Our Angels social worker is patient and understanding, even after four years, as we are still navigating the emotional ups and downs that come with fostering. We are honored to be a very small part of this amazing organization that is helping so many and hope to be involved for many years to come.”
*Since writing this, Matt and Patti have adopted their third Angel. There are no lasting signs of his trauma and abuse.