Friday, January 3, 2014

Kristy Hicks Herron's Story

Kristy Hicks Herron's Story

My husband Brett and I have 2 biological kids. Jeremy is 13 and Jenna is 11. In 2011, we realized that we wanted another baby and we decided that fostering to adopt would be the way to make that happen. We started the process to become foster parents through Koinonia in April of 2011. We took lots of classes and learned lots. We prayed constantly during this time. We knew that we might be placed with a baby and fall in love with it, only to have it placed back with its biological family. We knew though, that it was more about the baby being safe and loved. If we had a baby for a few months, we would be the best parents for that baby for that time. God would eventually bring us the baby we were meant to have forever. We became certified foster parents in September.

On October 21, Brett, Jeremy, Jenna and I were at the pumpkin patch. Every year we go and let the kids run around. As we were leaving the parking lot I got a call from Sarah at Koinonia. She said there was a 4 year old boy and his 4 day old sister that had just been removed and they needed a home. She told us to think about if we could take them but they really needed an answer within the hour. My husband and I were shocked and scared at the idea of taking in a newborn AND her 4 year old brother. 2 more kids?! Yikes! We really were only prepared to take a baby. But the more Brett and I talked about it (as our son is yelling from the backseat, "I want a brother!" the more we felt God saying, "this little boy needs a mom and dad." We called Sarah back and told her yes.

One week later we stood in our living room looking out our front door as a social worker in a white county van pulled up. Mason got out and stood there looking scared as he held onto a gift bag. He looked so small. She walked them up, we signed a few papers and she was gone.

When we filled out paperwork a month or so before, we checked boxes saying what types of kids we would be willing to take into our home. Sex, race, age, disabilities, etc. When we got the call about these siblings we were told their ages, names and that they were white, which is what we requested. We live in a predominately white neighborhood and we are a white family. We thought it would be easier for everyone if the child "fit in". After the social worker left my husband and I took the baby out of her carrier. She maybe weighed 6 pounds. The foster family that had them for the week before they came to our house was having trouble getting her to eat. As we looked at her it became obvious that she was not white. She was definitely half black. I am embarrassed to admit it but I was a little disappointed. She was not what I expected her to be. This tiny little 11 day old girl was not the color I was hoping for. As I look back now, I am so unbelievably thankful that I didn't know that she was half black. I might have said no. She won't "fit in". How ridiculous! Thank you GOD that I didn't say no! This little girl has taught my entire family that color means NOTHING! So sad to say that it took this beautiful little girl to teach ADULTS about color but that is exactly what happened!

We began the process of weekly biological mom visits. That was tough. Luckily, we had the most AMAZING social workers. They would pick the kids up, drive an hour to the visit, supervise the visit and drive them back home. I was always uneasy about it but I knew our social workers were keeping the kids safe which helped tremendously! This went on for a year while the biological mom was given EVERY opportunity to get these kids back. On November 1, 2012 Brett and I were in the courtroom as the judge terminated bio mom's parental rights. I will never forget that day. She needed her rights to be terminated. She deserved what she got. But…to see a mother's rights be terminated forever…I will never forget it. That was hard to watch. 11 months later on October 4, 2013 we adopted Mason and Brooklyn. What a relief!

A little bit of info from before they lived with us: Mason lived with his maternal grandma. I think his mom would come and go as she pleased. She was more like a big sister. On Christmas Day 2010 there was an apartment fire and Mason and his grandma lost everything. They were homeless from that point on and moved around from friend to friend. When Brooklyn was born the mom did not want her. I was told she was trying to give her away to everyone she saw. So, the grandma told the nurses she would take her. When the social worker went to her house to see if it would be suitable for a baby she found Mason there and grandma was passed out. She was high on something and they couldn't wake her up. So, they went there in hopes of placing the baby with her and instead they left with the baby and Mason.

Mason suffered from PTSD and learning disabilities but he has made amazing progress. He is the most loving sweet kid. He is very active and he loves school and playing baseball. He wants to be just like his big brother.
Brooklyn tested positive for meth and painkillers when she was born but I am happy to say that she is 26 months clean and sober! Ha ha! She is super smart and adorable!

(Kristy also posted pictures with her story, and her pride in her children (biological and not) was evident. She is a loving momma and though there were difficult times in her journey, she learned much and grew from them.)

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