(Editor’s Note: National Adoption Month, celebrated in November, is a collective effort to raise awareness that more than 100,000 children in foster care are waiting for permanent, loving families. We want to share the story of one Washington family who responded to the call.)
Greg and Aly Powers’ journey to becoming foster parents began seven years ago when they discovered they had friends who were parenting foster children through LCS Northwest’s Foster-Adopt Program.
“We wanted to help our friends out by providing respite care, which required going through training and getting licensed as foster parents,” explained Aly. “Soon we were providing respite care for other foster families in the network.”
One day, Greg and Aly received a call from LCS Northwest asking if they would be willing to parent a foster child themselves. The agency had a little one in need of a family for a few weeks, possibly longer.
Loving and caring for children was not something new for the Powers, who live in Lake Stevens. The couple are parents to three birth children, and Aly had been busy home schooling them. They said yes.
The family of five welcomed young JQ into their home. The few weeks turned into a few months, then a year and beyond. Throughout, the family gave him love and a place to belong. JQ eventually became a permanent member of the Powers family when Greg and Aly adopted him.
“LCS Northwest was with us throughout our journey,” Greg said. “Our social worker Deb helped us navigate the bureaucratic red tape, provided much needed community referrals, fostered our relationship with the birth parent, and guided us over legal hurdles. In short, the agency rode an emotional roller coaster with us to transform the life of this child.”
Greg and Aly are adamant that it must be all about the kids when you’re a foster parent. The children, they say, need unconditional love and a place to belong. They need to feel secure and cherished even though their future with you is unknown.
“It’s very challenging when you don’t know how long the child will be in your family but you can’t let the uncertainty and red tape get in the way of giving them love,” Greg added.
The Powers story continues. Working with the Foster-Adopt program, Greg and Aly fostered four more children. Two of the children were reunited with their birth parents and the couple adopted the other two. Today, they are the proud parents of six and their family is forever transformed.
“Some people call it chaos, but we call it family,” Aly said.