The world of fostering is easily one of the most exciting, yet exhausting, yet exhilarating experiences we all get to be a part of because of the sacrifices and work our parent’s put in to changing lives of young people. Foster, by definition, means to encourage or promote the development of something – typically something regarded as good. Although we may not always see it right away, or possibly even for a few years, the opportunity to play a part in something good, a youth’s story, returns such great reward for everyone involved. It’s a privilege to present this year’s foster parent of the year aware to Ms. Debbie.
When Ms. Debbie began her license in 2010 her motivation was simply to help kids in need and provide a place for them. She has undoubtedly done just that and SO much more. One of Ms. Debbie’s best qualities is her ability to make every youth feel valued and important. Although there are challenges, she has provided unending support, security, direction and love -even tough love when needed- to all the youth who have had the privilege of calling her “mom”. One of her most recently emancipated youth described her best as a “caring foster parent that will help you out in any time of need.” He went on to explain that “if you ever need anything, you can just call her”.
Always eager to be a constant in their life, Ms. Debbie has been found attending countless track meets, football games and other athletic events. She’s also often found faithfully cheering on her youth through award ceremonies and high school graduations. Ms. Debbie is intentional about making every moment matter and every victory celebrated. She has allowed her kids to dream big and has encouraged them to take big chances. There have been a few moments in particular that have stood out over the last few years. For one youth it was Ms. Debbie making the trip to Florida to get him set up in his new apartment prior to his first year of college and ensuring he had a place to call home during his holiday breaks. For another youth it was Ms. Debbie hearing during the first week of placement that she was interested in pursuing cosmetology and taking the initiative to see if her youth qualified for a dual enrollment program that allowed her to begin pursuing those passions when she started in the district.
Although emancipation, college and various other life circumstances may relocate her youth to new areas, they’re always right back at home when they’re in Springfield, Ohio. With grace and ease Ms. Debbie has raised up and sent off a handful of youth who are determined to make a positive impact on not only their communities but their world. Her championing has the lives of these young people forever and we are so thankful she is a part of our CHOICES Family.
Congratulations to Ms. Debbie on being the 2019 Foster Parent of the Year!