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Celebrating National Foster Care Month – A Personal Story

Each May, we celebrate those who dedicate themselves to enriching the lives of children by being a foster parent. These individuals selflessly give their time, their homes and their hearts to children in need. One of our own Step2 family members, Tammy Ried, has been a foster parent and is sharing her story as a foster parent:

Our story began in the year 2000 with a baby born in the Portage County jail and being left on the doorstep of the office I worked in with a bottle and dressed in a diaper only.

My husband and I were seeing the “light at the end of a tunnel” with our youngest son entering his senior year of high school when we took this baby into our home. His big blue eyes and infectious laugh made it easy to fall in love!

Fast forward to 2007. With this baby going in and out of our home his whole life, we received a call that he was removed from his mother’s home again and looking to be placed but the surprise was that he now had a one year old brother and they needed placed together. I remember discussing with my Step2 coworkers that I couldn’t start the diaper stage again…

But we did, and after some time in our home, the boys wanted a puppy. We couldn’t commit to a puppy for the boys. What if they were returned again to the State? Then it happened. After 2 years of being placed with us under the State, we received a Court date to have legal custody passed to us permanently.

With a huge gathering for the birthday of one of the boys, two puppies were delivered into their open arms as a surprise.

I cannot say that our journey has been an easy one but watching them grow into young men is so rewarding. They have owned our hearts from the beginning and we know that we are a Forever Family.

When my youngest son applied for college, I purchased a sign to hang in our home that said “Welcome to our Empty Nest,” which has been placed in a box for a future date. The truth is, we still have one child entering junior high next year!

Thank you to Tammy & her family for growing their family through foster care!

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