Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I am just like every other Mom you may have passed by at work or in the grocery store. 

I shuffle my two biological boys who are 5 and 11 years old to school, various after school activities, attend field day and taxi them off to church on Sunday and Wednesday nights.

However, one thing that is a bit different about me that people find a bit perplexing is that suddenly overnight, we have two additions to our family.

Yes, it changed that quickly, with just one phone call. My house has become a revolving door filled with court appointed advocates, attorneys, various state workers, therapists, foster/adopt coordinators, and psychologists. We no longer have privacy and the constant ringing of our doorbell has started to become our new norm. I am a foster mom to two amazing little girls who are 2 and 4 years old. We didn’t set out to foster, we originally set out to adopt one little girl but became aware there are siblings in our area who need a safe and loving home that had the potential to become a permanent placement (adoption).  How could we say no when we have been blessed.

Our decision to foster to adopt with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) was made 5 years ago. Please don’t think I have been doing this for 5 years and that I am a pro, because I am not! We have only been doing this for three months now and I am learning every day.

When we first started our process of fostering to adopt with DFPS, we lived on the East Coast. During that time, I was completing graduate school and my husband was travelling 90 percent of the time and the demands of attending DFPS class weekly and on the weekend wasn’t an option for us so we put it on hold.  This past November, my husband and I jumped in head first and completed our Child Protective Services (CPS) 16 hours of pre-service training and 35 hours of Parent Resource Information Development Education (PRIDE) training we needed to become a licensed foster home with the state of Texas so we could work towards adoption.  This was the last step we had to take before we could “get the call.”

Once I nailed the framed license upon our wall in our hallway, I expected the phone to ring any second. Well, I waited for quite some time and every time my cell phone rang, I had it answered before it had the chance ring the second time.  I thought to myself, at least when I was pregnant I had a due date, and there was some type of expectation. Right now, I felt like I was over my due date and sitting on the edge waiting.

We finally got our call in early March. I had a two hour notice that our first placement of two little girls would be showing up on our doorstep at 5 p.m. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I didn’t have any little girl clothes. I didn’t have any girly sippy cups. What do they like to eat?  Will they like me? Will they like their room? Will they be scared? What do I say to them?

Check back tomorrow for the second part of how Christy's family went from a family of four to a family of six in just a couple of hours.

Christy Benson is director of Clinical Informatics Analysis & Measurement for Texas Health Resources and the Mom to four.

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