Foster Care Volunteer Opportunities: The Example of The Holland Family

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“I’m so grateful that we trusted our gut and started fostering the twins as babies because they gave us our forever family.”

Chicago, Illinois – November, 2020

My name is Beth. In 2016, my husband and I decided we were ready to expand our family of three and started really praying and thinking about fostering a child. We went through the proper training and classes and were referred to VOA Illinois through someone at our church. At the time our friend was fostering a little boy and spoke highly about the work the foster care team was accomplishing. We decided to go for it!

Shortly after we met with the foster care team, we received a call from our case manager asking if we were willing to foster not one, but two babies. A set of 9 month old twin girls had recently been placed in their care and they thought we would be the perfect foster parents. At the time, it was a scary request, we started this journey thinking we’d foster one child. We also had a toddler daughter at home and weren’t sure how she’d react to two new siblings. After a lot of prayer and conversation we knew we couldn’t accept only of of the girls. God would guide us and at the end of the day it was one extra meal, one more set of shoes, and one more baby to love. When I look back on this decision I always think of the day the girls arrived at our house, one on each hip of the case manager and I knew then these girls had never had a night away from each other in their lives and I never wanted them to have to experience that separation.

After a few months, we started getting into a routine with our three girls. Remember our friend who was also fostering a child, he is the brother to the twins. Not only was our personal family growing, but our Church family was growing and getting closer and more connected thanks to these three precious children.

I’ll never forget the morning in 2017 when our case manager called us and asked that we meet at the VOA Illinois office with her team and the girl’s biological mother because the girl’s mother had something she wanted to talk to us about. I had no idea what to expect going into this meeting and the outcome is something I never allowed myself to imagine. During this meeting the girl’s biological mother asked if my husband and I would be willing to adopt the girls into our forever family. She was willing to give up her rights because she saw just how much we loved the girls and how they fit perfectly with us. It takes a strong women to be able to walk into that meeting and do what she did, I will forever be grateful for this gift.

My husband and I didn’t have to think about it, of course we would officially adopt the girls! They were already such a huge part of our lives that we couldn’t imagine a day without them and now we wouldn’t have to. Thanks to our case manager we were able to move quickly with the adoption paperwork and by the time the holidays rolled around that year we were offically a family of 5.

Today, the girls are quickly growing up and finding their own unique personalities. This November, they’re turning 5 and I can’t believe it. I’m so grateful that we trusted our gut and started fostering the twins as babies because they gave us our forever family.

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