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Misty and Daniel had full lives when they married; her adult children and grandchildren and his nieces and nephews gave them an instant family. They were excited for their next chapter as newlyweds and empty-nesters, so imagine their surprise when CPS called three days after their wedding asking if they would become kinship caregivers for Daniel’s great-nephew, Christopher.
Deciding to say “yes” wasn’t hard for Misty and Daniel because they believe family stays together. They were already in Christopher’s life and had even visited him in the hospital when he was born. They couldn’t imagine him not living with his family. Misty and Daniel wanted to be there for Christopher, but they knew they’d need support in their new role as his caregivers. Their CASA worker suggested they contact PCHAS. They reached out and met their Foster Care & Adoption Guide, Travis.
Parenting a toddler was fun but also challenging. Bedtime was especially tough because Christopher had a hard time settling down. During a TBRI® training at PCHAS, an experienced foster family shared how they offered their children choices during bedtime. They gave the example of letting the kids “hop like a bunny or leap like a frog to their bed.” Daniel and Misty started offering choices that night and saw an immediate impact during bedtime.
Of all the changes and growth they’ve experienced in the last 18 months, Misty and Daniel are most proud of the ways their family has stuck together. Christopher’s older siblings live with other family members. Every weekend they get together for cookouts, parties or baseball games for the older kids. Recently, Christopher started practicing karate, and now his siblings come to watch his matches. To offer help, family members have bought clothes and prepared meals. One of Misty’s daughters even became approved as a respite provider so Misty and Daniel could finally go on their honeymoon.
When you first meet Misty, you might not be able to tell her family serves a vital role in a complex system. Commitment, great support and a positive attitude help her focus on what’s most important, so it’s only fitting for her to say, “it’s never too late to start over. Once a mom, always a mom.”
Are you a Kinship Caregiver like Misty and Daniel? PCHAS can help you access support and resources to help your family thrive. Connect with us at 512-212-5700 or email@example.com for more information.