Melissa and Dennis are experienced parents; they raised her three younger siblings and their five biological children. They finally became empty nesters about three years ago when they sent their youngest to college. Melissa had more time on her hands than ever before and did not find it fulfilling.
Then, she got a call that would change their lives forever: A friend of Melissa’s cousin had two young children and needed help. Dennis and Melissa did not know what was involved but prayed about it and knew they had the love and time to offer the children.
The couple started the third phase of their parenting journey with two little boys. Eventually, their baby sister would join the family, too. Melissa and Dennis gave the children the stability they needed in hopes that they could return home.
In Texas, Kinship Caregivers can complete the process of becoming Foster Parents. Doing so gives the family and children access to many more resources. So, Melissa and Dennis contacted PCHAS after they brought the children home. PCHAS guided the family to become verified for foster care and offered training and resources to help them help the kids. Melissa said, “The case managers are amazing. I can’t give them enough praise. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
The goal of Kinship Care and Foster Care is reunification. However, when it became clear the children could not return home, Dennis and Melissa gladly agreed to adopt them. PCHAS was also by their side to help them navigate the adoption process.
But the story does not end there. Melissa felt in her heart that her new daughter needed a sister. After much prayer, she and Dennis decided to contact PCHAS. The next day, they learned of a girl and a boy (siblings) needing a family.
Dennis and Melissa have given five children a family and a future while maintaining connections and helping the kids thrive. It is an incredible story, and PCHAS is honored to be part of it. Melissa says, “People tell me I’m crazy for this, but it’s a blessing. Every day, I have something to wake up to.” Even better, she says their grown children are very accepting and have welcomed all the little ones into the family. When the family gathers for meals, holidays and birthdays, 27 people (including spouses and eight grandkids) fill the table. Melissa says she has no regrets.
If you are a kinship family, Connect With Us to learn more about available resources. Not a kinship family? We want to hear from you, too. Call or text 281-324-0544 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.