Hope was a single mom for 16 years and had always wanted more children. Her only daughter was graduating from high school and moving away to college.
Hope was interested in becoming a foster parent and began the classes to get licensed with Catholic Charities. She received her license in March 2007.
She tells us what it was like to become a foster parent for the first time.
I met Agnes Cruz, my new case worker soon after I got licensed. We talked and she explained the whole process, gathered information and checked out my home. She asked what age I was interested in, if I wanted a boy or a girl, could I take a sibling group, etc. I had been collecting things over the months as I was taking the classes; a crib, clothes in all sizes for boys and girls, a car seat - I was ready! I had no idea how long it would take but it was all I could think about.
The next day, I was at work and I got a call from Catholic Charities asking if I’d like to go to the hospital and pick up a 2-week-old baby. Yes! The moment I had been waiting for, and I can give you every detail of that day like it was yesterday.
As I was driving down the freeway when I got a call from an investigator from the Department of Child Safety who was meeting me at the hospital. I asked if it was a boy or a girl.
“It’s a girl,” she said. “Her name is Jade Hope.”
Since my name is Hope, I felt it was meant to be. I believe that God had a plan all along.
I ended up adopting beautiful Jade on June 10 the following year. Every year, on June 10, when I celebrate and thank God for entrusting me with Jade, I think of my special case worker Agnes who placed me with her and who I have had the pleasure of sharing the last eight years with and some 20 plus other foster children and a sister for Jade as well.
One extreme high point in my experience has been that I have had the same case worker since my very first placement in 2007. To go through this whole life changing experience and share it with someone that you have developed a relationship with over the years, it just goes to show that these people are committed to their job and helping foster parents and the foster children in the system.
Having a child born by another woman and having that child call me Mommy- the magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege is not lost on me. Foster parenting is not for everyone, but if you can find it in yourself to be there for these children for the time that they need you, you can impact a child’s life and they can impact yours.