“It just made sense to us to be foster parents”
Greg and Roze Sharp had thought about becoming certified for adoption for several years before they took the first step. They had many of the same concerns other potential parents have at the beginning of the adoption process. However, Greg and Roze had one concern that isn’t as common: would they live in one place long enough to adopt?
The couple, originally from Arkansas, has moved several times since Greg enlisted in the Air Force in 2008. They knew that the frequent moves would make adoption complicated, but not impossible.
“We were in South Carolina when we tried to begin the adoption process, but it was interrupted when we moved a few more times. It just didn’t work out,” Greg said.
When Greg was transferred to Schriever Air Force base in Colorado Springs, the couple knew they would not be moving for three years. This stability allowed them to pursue adoption again, but they also had a change of heart about being adoption-only. “Adoption is still part of the plan. It kind of came from our heart for service. So we thought, with so many kids needing help, fostering would be a good way to help out however we could while we try to adopt,” Greg says.
“It just made sense to us to be foster parents,” Roze adds.
With two infants living with them now, the reality of fostering is different from what they expected. "Our agency does an amazing job teaching us the policy and procedures of the system and try to prepare us for some of the scenarios we might see, but the literal day-to-day life with appointments, diagnosis, therapies and especially the emotional attachments you make to these children, is only something you can learn by experience," Roze said. "But, in the grand scheme of things, the struggles are so minimal compared to the joy these children bring into our life."
While Roze works in the home, Greg is able to pitch in and help in part due to flexibility in his job on the base. “The military does instill the values of service. Not just service to the nation like you’d expect, but also service to your community,” Greg says. “It puts that idea of service into the forefront of what you think about. There’s also an overlap in being an advocate for others.”
With another foster dad in his squadron, Greg is able to swap stories and connect with another guy who is going through many of the same things. The couple’s church and agency (Griffins Center for Children Chins Up, which was recommended by another military family) are two other essential sources of support.
Now, knowing that the family may be transferred again in a year, Roze admits that she understands the fears other military foster parents have. “We may get orders to move, and that’s a disruption for the boys. It doesn’t change our minds about fostering, but I understand people’s fears. We don’t want to do that to the boys.”
Greg and Roze Sharp live in Colorado Springs and are certified by Griffith Centers for Children Chins Up.