The Call to Foster

The Cooper Family's Pursuit to Show God's Love Through Foster Care

The Coopers are pursuing a lifelong calling to provide a loving home for children in need, and they are committed to doing all they can to help the children in their care, and their biological families, heal.

The Coopers, middle school sweethearts, always knew they wanted to become foster parents one day. Because of health concerns with their biological children, and a fight with ovarian cancer, they had to wait much longer than Amanda had hoped. But God perfectly aligned the beginning of their foster care journey with an immediate opportunity for kinship care. Amanda’s cousin’s child was placed in foster care, and they didn’t hesitate to bring him into their family.

The Cooper family adopted him soon after, but they knew their time in foster care wasn’t over. “We saw how well our children handled bringing Eric in, and we knew we wanted to provide a home for more children who needed it,” said Amanda. “We prayed about it and knew we were ready to bring more kids in. We wanted to love on them and let them know there’s good people in the world.”

They heard about Thornwell’s Foster Care program from a close friend, and knew it was exactly what they were looking for.

“We didn’t know the kind of struggles we’d face in the foster care process, and we wanted an agency who would be transparent with us and support us through every step. Thornwell was exactly that—we love fostering through Thornwell and we’ve loved everyone we’ve had the chance to work with.”

Your faithful support over the years is what made this possible—thank you for giving us the opportunity to support foster families in every step of their journey!

Their first placement was not just one child, but two! “I was at work when they called with our first placement. She asked me several times if I was okay with taking two children, and I told her ‘I got this’ without hesitating. I was so excited, and I knew we could handle it.”

When the boys arrived at the Cooper household, they were comfortable immediately. Amanda also made it a priority to get to know the boys’ biological parents and keep them involved. She organized regular FaceTime visits with their mom and took time to drive her to job interviews and other errands when she needed it. She also invited their mom, dad, and biological brother to church, holidays, trick-or-treating, and other family events.

Thornwell Foster Care Family Specialist, Abby Hipps, said, “This family deals with trials as they come in such a graceful manner. At the beginning of May 2020, one of the biological children was scheduled for open heart surgery. The family was offered to put the children in respite during this time, but they were adamant that the children travel with them as part of the family. This family exemplifies strength, compassion, and love for all children in their care.”

Amanda says that the experience of fostering has opened her family’s eyes and that the addition to their family has been a gift from God.

Her oldest son struggled with expressing his feelings when he was younger, and when he saw that one of their foster children did too, he took the time to bond with him and to share with him what he’d learned.

Another moment she treasures is when one of her foster sons asked her biological sons if they would become brothers if they stayed with their family forever. Her bio son responded with, “We can be your brothers now. It’s whatever you want to call us.”

“That was a beautiful moment,” Amanda said. “It gave me hope that I’m doing something right.”

With six boys in her household—three biological, one adopted, and two foster—Amanda’s life is rarely quiet or slow. But she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The opportunity to care for these children is a gift. It’s just like your own children—God gives you the gift of bringing them into the world and loving them, but he doesn’t tell you how long you’ll have them. You have to cherish them all with the time you do have.”

“I talk to people about foster care all the time, and what I tell them is this: don’t foster to feel like you’re changing the world or to keep the children,” she said. “Foster to show love to people.”

Thank you for believing that every child deserves to belong to a thriving family. You are making a world of difference to so many!

 

You can give today to impact children in foster care and support families like the Coopers.
 

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