Recently, we sat down with Mike and Tonya, who shared their incredible leap of faith into foster care.
It all started in late 2019 when the couple was on a road trip with their five adopted sons. Tonya stared out the car window, thinking about her family. They were a big, busy brood, but she knew they had more to give. She also knew there were many kids who needed a safe and loving family like theirs because a friend, and PCHAS foster mom, had been talking to her about foster care for quite a while.
So, Tonya and Mike started talking about adopting, fostering and helping other families. One day, she saw the sign for PCHAS, so she stopped into the office and got some information. They looked it over and prayed about what they should do. They were nervous, but they were experienced parents. And, as some of their boys had special needs, they had already learned how to navigate the schools and other resources to help kids with learning differences.
Mike and Tonya didn’t let their fears get in the way. They felt brave, not overwhelmed, in the face of challenges because of their faith. When we asked how they handled the common concern of “getting too attached,” Tonya replied, “If you believe in God, then trust Him!” She encourages herself and others with this truth because many kids in our community need families to welcome them and provide the love and care they need.
Mike and Tonya also focus on reality rather than dreaming long into the future. In most cases, the plan for kids in foster care is reunification with their birth family. Staying focused on the plan helps them stay focused on helping kids return home.
Because their goal was only to foster, it surprised Mike and Tonya when they got the opportunity to adopt one of the children. They didn’t hesitate to say “yes.” They are so proud of how their boys have matured and grown through the experience, and they continue to stretch and adapt.
The couple said, “Opening up our home and family to all the rules and requirements is a lot, but we have always felt appreciated and respected. PCHAS is particularly good.”
Mike and Tonya’s life is very different from the 2019 version. They’ve grown into a family of eight and continue to foster (though they’re at capacity now). When they started this journey, one of their boys asked a simple, profound question everyone should consider: “Why wouldn’t we do this?”