Jessica Lewis from Dorchester County is a great example of the unexpected joy that comes with fostering a child with love. Her journey began in 1996 when she and her husband got married and had their first child, who unfortunately passed away. Amidst their grief, they thought of how they could help other kids who were in need of parents. That’s when they enquired about foster care.
The first year of their journey was interesting, as they had to attend classes physically for nine weeks, a couple of times a week, to learn how to parent children from difficult backgrounds or who have had challenges or traumas. They received their certificate in February and got their first call in March about the first baby that needed to be placed.
Jessica recalls how excited she was when she got the call while at work. The call was basically to ask if they could take an infant boy at 4 o’clock that afternoon. She said yes without knowing the baby’s name, history or background. Looking back, she now knows that she should have asked more questions at the time. However, sometimes you just don’t have a lot of information, and all you know is that there’s a need, and you’re available to help.When the baby arrived, he was 16 weeks old, a beautiful baby whose outcome was uncertain. They were told that they didn’t know if the baby would be reunified with his parents or if a family member would step forward. There was no permanent plan at that time. But they ended up adopting the baby, and he is now their 14-year-old son.
She estimates that they’ve helped about two dozen children and encourages anyone who has an interest in fostering to contact the department and take the opportunity to learn about the classes.
Jessica’s story is a testament to the power of love and how it can transform the lives of children in need. It’s a call to action for anyone who has a heart for fostering to take that leap of faith and give children the love and care they deserve.
This video is approximately five minutes in length. To find out about becoming a foster parent please contact Dorchester County Dept of Social Services here, Kent County Social Services here, or Talbot County Department of Services here.