From the time Rachel was in sixth grade, she told everyone she planned on being a foster mom.
“My definition of family was people who love you and take care of you,” Rachel says. “And I wanted to be family for kids who didn’t have that. It’s always been in my heart. I grew up where not only actual adoption was present, but welcoming people into our homes and treating them like family. It was never blood that made someone family to me.”
Shortly after Rachel married her husband Corey in 2014, they were presented with an opportunity to welcome her 13 year old cousin into her home after her aunt was unable to take care of her four children. Shortly after, they pursued a proper foster license through Catholic Charities to continue helping children as well as grow their own family.
Rachel works as a behavior health specialist, helping numerous foster families. After speaking with these families about their experiences and witnessing the level of support they received, she was sure that Catholic Charities was the right place for her to pursue the passion for helping children that she developed back in middle school.
Within two years, Rachel and Corey adopted all of their four foster children as well as provided a home for five foster children until they could be placed with a family member. Her family now feels complete with three sons and a beautiful daughter who they just officially adopted last year. Rachel and Corey still take in emergency foster kids as well, currently caring for three foster children right now along with her own children.
“If I had to sit down and plan my life, it would not have looked like this,” Rachel laughs after she puts the kids down for their naps. “We didn’t expect this to happen, but I can see God’s hand in all of this.”
But it isn’t as easy as it sounds, Rachel says. The fostering process can be challenging at times and can cause a lot of frustration. So dedication, patience and perseverance are key traits for foster parents.
“There’s a team of 25 people for one child between licensing agencies, behavior health … the communication can be challenging and it’s hard getting everyone on the same page to best benefit the child,” Rachel says.
Still, Rachel expresses that the frustration is completely worth it in order to receive the gift of a family.
“God knows what needs to happen. These children are in my home because of Him,” she says.