Oftentimes, our desire in life is centered around finding our own unique calling within this world. Sylvia, a foster parent in Northern Arizona, was given hers in a dream when she was only 13 years old. She had a dream where she was caring for children and at only 15 years old, she and her parents began fostering children and she took on a majority of the responsibility. After she was married, she informed her husband Patrick that she had a heart for foster/adoptive children and that was where her story truly began.
Sylvia and Patrick fostered and adopted when they lived in California, adding a new adopted member to their family, which at that time included three biological children. After they moved to Arizona, Sylvia began researching adoption agencies to continue to grow their family. She found Catholic Charities and was drawn to the idea of working with an agency who shared her beliefs. With Catholic Charities, Sylvia and Patrick worked with the Catholic Charities foster team to become a licensed foster family, certified in children who are medically fragile. Shortly after they began the application process, Sylvia and Patrick were blessed to foster then adopt two girls, who were 2- and 3-year-old sisters.
“They’re not going to love you as much as you love them at first,” Sylvia recalls with teary eyes when speaking about the early days of having new children in her home. “The oldest girl was a spitfire and she was frustrated with life. She used to scratch me and pull my glasses off whenever I would hold her. After eight months, she went to grab my glasses again and instead she just stared at me. We looked into each other's eyes and then she put her hand down. She never tried to pull my glasses off again because she realized her mom loved her, and the love I had been giving her finally connected.”
Living in Paulden, Ariz., Sylvia and Patrick love spending time with their kids outside by boating together as a family. They also enjoy watching movies together as a family when the winter months prevent them from spending time near the water.
Recently, Sylvia also wrote a book about her journey as a mother and a believer called, “It Was Meant to Be” available on Amazon.
The couple’s story continues as Sylvia and Patrick continue giving love to new children. Within the last few weeks, they brought home a 10-month-old baby with down syndrome in need of a foster family. Sylvia encourages those who have started the foster or adoption journey to keep up the good work and stay faithful through the process, as it can be emotional and difficult at times.
“These children need you more than you need them,” Sylvia reminds us. “Stick it out. They’re worth it.”