It was love at first sight when we met our soon-to-be son. Just looking into his big blue eyes made my mind wonder the way our minds take control when we fall in love. I wondered what his life had been like. I worried whether he had been rocked to sleep at night, adequately clothed, fed when he was hungry or had his boo-boos kissed when he needed consoling. A rush of emotions flooded me in that first meeting as I walked into his foster parents’ home.
Soon, many of my questions would slowly get answered and I would get to understand a small portion of Zachary’s life. Zachary was very fortunate to have been placed in a very loving foster home at 11 months old which provided more than just basic food and shelter. They gave him love, stability and nurtured his ability to learn to trust. They wiped his tears, took him to the doctor when he was sick and read books to him at night. He had a stable, caring environment in which he could grow.
A loving foster home can provide the constancy a child needs to be able to live a normal life like his peers. Zachary is strong-willed, confident and smart. His case worker even described him as “super-smart.” I’m so thankful to his foster family for providing him a safe environment so he could begin to reach his full potential.
Once our first meeting was complete we felt a special bond. We leaned on the foster family to help guide us through the transition process. Within a short three weeks, Zachary was ready for permanent placement in our home. He was experiencing a healthy transition and was showing signs of attachment.
My heart was filled with joy as our “new” son woke up in “Zachary’s bed” in “Zachary’s room” which was now in “Zachary’s new home.” He loved the labels and we relied on them to help describe the change. My heart also went out to his foster family who had heard his first words and watched him run across their front lawn for the first time. Their hearts must have ached when we loaded him in the car after the last visit and drove off into a new life.
We owe the foster family so much appreciation for raising such a beautiful boy. Our story is unique, our adoption process was smooth and flawless and Zachary’s time in the foster care system was thankfully short. Many children go through a much rougher time, but that makes the role of foster parents even more important. They may be the first people who have ever truly provided and cared for the child.
Zachary’s foster parents are now considered part of our family. I feel they are angels placed on earth to guide children on their voyage through life. If you have the room in your heart and home for more children, I urge you to consider fostering one or more of Florida’s wonderful children in need of loving, caring, stable homes until they can find their Forever Families.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, please contact your local office.