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Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Ups and Downs of Adopting from Foster Care

Written by
The Barrier Family The Barrier Family

Nicole Barrier became a foster parent to grow her family. Now, years later, she shares her experience as a foster parent with Catholic Charities.

I started foster care as a single mom. I primarily started it because I didn't want my son to be an only child. I wanted him to be able to have the experience of having siblings even if it was for short periods of time. 

Becoming a Single Foster Parent

Catholic Charities was very supportive of me being a single mom and did excellent training to get me started on the journey of foster care. My first placement was two sweet little girls that came with nothing. Catholic Charities assisted in many ways through my first placement, not only finding clothes for the two girls but also finding toys and items they could call their own. 

Throughout the years of fostering, I met my husband, who was very interested in fostering also. He went through all the classes to get certified, so that we could foster together. My husband and I always talked about having more children together--however, we were unable to conceive.

Ready to Adopt

We prayed for many months after our last foster child moved on. After many prayers and many meetings with Catholic Charities, we decided to go back on the list as a foster/adopt family. We changed our age range to 3 months old to 4 years old. Catholic Charities was great at sticking to our age range, and we got many calls for babies but none of them ever actually came. 

Then we got word through Catholic Charities that a little girl who was age 3 (that we had done respite care for) was looking to go toward finding a forever home. Catholic Charities was awesome at starting visits with us and allowing us to be a part of her life. Then a relative came along, and we were devastated. However, Catholic Charities said they'd keep us informed about her status.

In the mean time, we got a call for a sibling group for an emergency placement for two boys, ages 7 and 6 weeks old.  They came to us late Friday night in October 2014 and stayed the weekend. When they left on Monday, we had told the CPS worker that if they couldn't find any one for the baby, we would take him back because he was in our age range.  By 5 p.m. that night, we had our baby back in our arms and he has never left.  It took about another year and a half to get to final adoption, but we are proud to say we adopted our sweet Brayden on February 10, 2016. 

Advocacy and Support

If it wasn't for Catholic Charities continued support and advocating for us, I know we wouldn't have had such a happy ending. In the midst of all of this, we received word in February 2015 that our little girl could no longer stay with relatives and they wanted to start transition to us right away. 

Catholic Charities was a huge part in making that happen and advocating again for our family that we were the best placement, because we had bonded with her. We worked through what seemed the longest process ever with ups and downs, but Catholic Charities never wavered and was always there showing support for us as foster parents and us as a family.   

Forever Family

We were finally able to adopt our little girl, Bristol. With Catholic Charities effort and an amazing lawyer, we were able to adopt our precious little ones on the same day, surprising all of our friends and family. On February 10, 2016, we became a family of six and we are now complete!

Thank you Catholic Charities for all of your support and for believing in us even when things got rough and we were ready to give up! Thank you to Renee Livas, our case worker, who was with us from day one when I started fostering and was there on adoption day to continue to support our journey!


Learn more about becoming a licensed foster family and other ways you can help kids in foster care.

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