Billy and Lisa never expected to raise another child, but their lives changed forever when they opened their hearts to kinship care.
The couple was like many ?empty nesters.? When they weren?t caring for families in hospice care, they took beach vacations and enjoyed the outdoors.
One day, they learned they had a grandson in foster care they didn?t know about. Billy and Lisa couldn?t imagine someone else raising the child. Still, they weren?t sure they were ready to raise him themselves. That changed when they saw the boy?s photo and ?instantly fell in love.?
Empty nest to full house – and hearts
The Upbring Foster In Texas team partnered with Billy and Lisa to make their grandson part of their lives. We helped them prepare for his arrival by ensuring their home was child-safe. We also provided refresher training on such topics as basic parenting skills, car seat installation, water safety and first aid.
For Billy and Lisa, the challenges of raising their grandson were quickly eclipsed by the joy of experiencing the world through his eyes. They recently adopted the boy and named him David because they believe God chose him to change their lives. And he certainly has!
?We have had the pleasure of being there for his first trip to the zoo, his first play date, his first time at the beach and other milestones,? Lisa said. ?Taking the foster-to-adopt journey has been the most important thing we have done. We know if people open their hearts and their homes, they would also feel blessed.?
Like all parents, Billy and Lisa have dreams for David. Most importantly, they want him to live his dreams, and they will be there to encourage him every step of the way.
?We don?t feel like we are helping him; we feel he is helping us be better people,? Billy said. ?We don?t remember what life was like before him.?
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May is Foster Care Month, a time to focus on ways to create a bright future for the more than 430,000 children and youth in foster care. We were excited to share David’s kinship care story in support of this year’s theme: ?It?s All Relative: Supporting Kinship Connections.?
We encourage you to follow us on Facebook for more soul-inspiring stories like David’s, as well as practical information on how you can make an impact in children’s lives.
*The family?s first names are real, but we omitted their last name and used a stock photo to protect their identities.