Westminster couple expands their family through foster care
June 25, 2020
After Aimee and Kim had their two biological children, they knew they wanted more kids. Two and a half years ago they became foster parents.
“We always knew we wanted more kids and the stars aligned. I was with one of my boys at Panera and we saw a flyer for the Collaborative,” said Kim. “We were certified on a Friday and by Monday we had a child coming to stay with us.”
Over the last two and a half years, the family has had eight children come and go, many of whom they stay in touch with.
“The boys especially enjoy staying in touch and getting close to the families. If you asked how many brothers and sisters they have, they would say they have a lot,” said Aimee, who mentioned the family has gotten close to the father of one child's half-siblings.
Amiee and Kim feel it is important to take time to make sure everyone wants to continue fostering as a family. After each child returns home, they take time away with their two boys, Benjamin, who is almost 12, and Drew, who is 8.5 years old, in order to reconnect and check in with them.
“They like being the older siblings,” said Aimee.
Aimee and Kim noted that each of their boys plays a role in welcoming new children into the home. Benjamin is nurturing and very empathetic while Drew is a silly playmate who loves to make them laugh.
“One thing I like about (fostering) is you are not only bringing a child into your family, you are becoming a part of a family that just happens to be going through a rough time,” said Kim of the relationships the family has formed with biological parents.
Although forming trusting relationships with biological families isn’t always easy, Kim and Aimee have developed effective ways to create positive relationships. Kim will get the parents’ phone numbers, text them photos and videos and give them updates. The couple gives biological parents gifts for Mother’s Day, their birthdays and other holidays from the child. Visitations are a time for parents to connect and bond with their children, so Kim makes sure to share stories and update parents so they know how their children are between visits.
“The whole situation is horrible for everyone. No one seeks to have their kids taken away. Kids don’t want to be taken from their parents. Having a relationship with the parents is often what is best for the kids and for everyone,” said Kim. “Creating that relationship is important but it isn’t easy. Something traumatic has happened. What has helped us is putting ourselves in the parent’s shoes. If this had happened to us, how would we want to be perceived?”
The family is now fostering a little girl who is almost two years old. Despite coronavirus restrictions, they are still having positive visits over video chat. The couple says that unlike with visits outside of the home her mom can get a glimpse into her life and see where she is living.
“Since she is more comfortable at home, she is less shy and opens up more,” said Aimee, who has found that keeping her in her room with some toys helps keep her focused on the visit.
Initially, Aimee and Kim were worried that some biological parents might object to their children being cared for by a same-sex couple, but they have found that all the families they have met have been very supportive of their family. Aimee and Kim encourage other lesbian couples to pursue foster care and adoption especially those who want to adopt.
“There is also such a need for foster and adoptive parents and having a family through foster care or foster to adopt is a beautiful thing,” said Aimee.