Chauncy is our oldest but he's our newest and then we have Grayson.
Both Chauncey and Grayson are 13.
(You do this all the time.
) So we went on all every single ride and every single ride he just stood off to the side.
I don't like roller coasters.
He didn't go on any of the rides.
(Giggling) We like go to the park, ride our bikes or rollerblades, scooters.
The best part of being in a big family is because you have more people to play with and have more fun.
Our greatest joy in foster care and adoption is seeing lives transformed Yeah.
And having our lives transformed in the process.
It's so close to the heart of God to care for children in need.
We're privileged to be able to walk in it and sometimes suffer in it.
We kind of explored private, foster care, foster to adopt all different avenues, but we kind of landed on foster care and we fell in love with it.
And kept getting pregnant in between, like “well let's start this class” and then we'd get pregnant and then a little bit of hold it off.
Then finally when I was pregnant with Jackson (is that when we decided?), we were like “who cares? let's just keep moving.
” So then Eliana came when Jackson was 8 months, so they were two months apart.
She was six months and then we just snow balled after that.
It just kept coming.
We've been with lots of different agencies, but my caseworkers from Pressley Ridge will come and sit on my couch and hear all my stuff and hold it and be the steady when we're like.
because we still get super emotional and you know with all the stories.
The support that we've gotten from Pressley Ridge versus anywhere else has been.
Having a healthy foster care agency that provides great services and connects you to a network within the community is so significant as you're seeking to take this journey in foster care.
I would say the season that Pressley Ridge was most supportive to us was when we took in our medically fragile child Jayceon, who was, you know, in the hospital the first bit that we had had him.
What was it a month month and a half that he was living in the hospital? Yeah.
Well, he was sedated and paralyzed in the hospital and we didn't know what we were walking into, but all we knew is we had to go and sit with him.
He hadn't been placed here yet, but we were matched with him or whatever.
And so we went to the hospital – terrified.
The doors opened and there was Natasha with Pressley Ridge on the other side of the elevator her doors opened and I was just like “oh, I don't know what to do!” So she went in with us and navigated all the nursing, navigated all the talks, Navigated through everything with us and we would have been totally lost.
We just hearing beeping monitors and looking and different nursing companies coming in Being like well, this is what we can provide what we can provide them We're just like we've never had a nurse in our house.
We don't know what we're doing.
So that was huge for us.
They did it.
They did all that.
Right at the onset provided a ton of support and then you know we had to be in and out of the hospital for a month and Supported us through all of that, showing up at the hospital, showing up in our home making sure We have everything that we need.
We had to get nursing equipment.
We had to turn in his room basically into a hospital room.
Yeah, so just being able to get the right contacts and move things when they weren't moving fast enough.
There was just so much need, especially within the first year that he was with us.
You know surgeries that he was going through and all different kinds of things that they didn't even have to be at they just were there for all of it.
Supporting us and providing every resource that we needed to be able to help Jayceon in that way.
You know one of the questions that people always bring up or one of the concerns they always bring up is that you know “I don't know if I could love a kid like that and then have them leave and, you know, kind of be pulled out of my home” and and just thinking about their own trauma in the midst of that.
Really a big part of what we think about is yeah but what if you don't open up your home to them? What kind of pain is that kid gonna go through if they don't have a loving home that they can land in? So just being able to challenge people to say: Yes.
It is difficult.
There are challenges Yes, you need to evaluate the effect on your own biological children Yes, you need to think about what about developmental stage? You can handle whether you can handle a young child or a teen or you know somebody an older teen and every every different age brings its own unique challenges to the picture.
However, there is a level of sacrifice — no matter what kind of child or what age of child, or you know, what traumatic situation they come from — will bring to your home.
But the the blessing of being able to see God use you to transform a life and to be able to see a kid make strides, even if they're small strides, is significant.
And it doesn't take away the pain and it doesn't make it so that you know, it's all easy and that you know, everything is just you know that picture perfect kind of photogenic moment, but it is worth it.
It's worth it.