After their son, Brooks, was born, Bradley and Deanna battled secondary infertility, struggling with inherent grief and loss. After weighing the options, foster care seemed like the right option for their family. The Hamiltons knew there were kids in the community who needed the love and care of a family. One of Deanna’s best friends, Charissa, was a foster parent, so the Hamiltons understood the possibility for more loss and grief and decided caring for a child was worth the risk.
Soon after signing up for Project 1.27 training, Hamilton's friend and tenant, Ingrid, shared that she would be providing kinship care for a baby girl. When Ingrid struggled with finding appropriate childcare, Deanna volunteered and the family developed a close, loving relationship with little Poppy. Five months later, when the Hamilton’s were certified, Poppy was officially placed in their home. During those five months, Deanna and Bradley got to know some of Poppy’s biological family who agreed the Hamilton’s would be a great adoptive family for Poppy.
As foster parents, Deanna and Bradley came to understand the layers of beauty in foster care and developed a personal understanding of how beautiful reunification can be. Unfortunately, for Poppy, this could not be done safely. Deanna shared that Poppy’s mom continues to be at the forefront of her prayers.
Bradley and Deanna also learned that foster care is hard. Sometimes, it seemed like the process didn’t take Poppy’s needs into account. At times, even after they were Poppy’s foster parents, the Hamiltons felt like they were treated more like babysitters. They were very thankful for the support of their agency, Mount Saint Vincent during those hard times.
They were also thankful for their support group. During Project 1.27 training, Bradley and Deanna connected with three other couples who began meeting together for dinner and support. Deanna shared, “As foster parents, it is wonderful to have people who know exactly what you’re going through!” Deanna also leads a MOPS(Mothers of Preschoolers) group and over time, shared the family’s foster story with the other moms. Those relationships brought more friends who support and love the family.
One thing Deanna wanted others considering foster care to know-
There is beauty in every foster story. Foster care doesn’t always lead to adoption, but when you offer love and protection to a child, even for a short period of time, it makes all the difference. These kids deserve the world. If you can give this kind of love and protection to a kid, do it! It is the most rewarding thing we’ve done with our lives. It was a whole way of life we never knew existed.
When asked how we could pray for her family, Deanna turned the conversation back to Poppy’s biological mom. And asked that we join her in praying for Poppy’s mom. “Pray Poppy’s mom will find peace and joy in Christ; that she can make the decisions that lead to a healthy and fulfilled life”.
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