One Foster Parent's Journey
Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
Children suffering from abuse. Neglect. Malnutrition. Even drug-related problems passed on from a mother’s addiction. Children rejected by those who were to love them most, their parents. When placed into a foster home, many of these children carry with them the physical and emotional scars that prevent them from accepting the love of another. This journey as a foster parent is the most difficult thing John DeGarmo has done. Through the sleepless nights with drug-addicted babies, the battles with angry teens, and the tears from such tremendous sadness, John DeGarmo learns that to follow God’s call in his life means to take up His cross in his own home. Fostering Love: One Foster Parent’s Journey is the true-life account of his experience as a foster parent, along with his wife and their own three children, as he followed God’s call to take foster children into his home. This is a story of heartbreak, sadness, and ultimately love as he came to find God in the tears and smiles of many foster children.
T he call came while I was at work. After much training, a great deal of prayer, and a large amount of waiting, our house was finally set to have a foster child come live with us. In fact, we weren’t just getting one foster child, we were getting two; two little girls. I was nervous, confused, and anxious. How would they act in our house? Why were they in foster care? How long would they stay with us? Many questions flew through my head as we prepared our hearts, and our home, for them. Our own children were excited, as well, though for different reasons. They were excited to have two new sisters come live with them. Kelly, my Australian wife of nine years, and I were certainly depending on them to help in little ways. Ways like helping to keep the house clean, help feed the new additions to our home, and most importantly, help love these hurting children. We had moved into our new house only a few months beforehand, and already we had to reshuffle some rooms around. Our two daughters, Kolby (aged six) and Jace (aged five) both had their own separate rooms. Our son, Brody (aged three) had the largest room upstairs, let alone the entire house. The room is a long one, stretching from one side of the house to the other, though it is a narrow one, with a slanted ceiling. “He will have to share his room with the oldest girl,” said my wife, her bright smile radiating from her petite figure. Her brown hair had recently been cut short, making her ever more beautiful than ever before. “Yeah, you’re right,” I replied. “I’ll have to put another bed up there.” Ken and Cathy, friends of ours from church, had donated an old single bed, so we decided to place the older girl in it, on one side of the room. Brody would sleep on the other side, in a small toddler’s bed. The other foster child, a baby, would sleep in a crib in our bedroom, on the main floor. I hung the phone up, said a silent prayer, and went back to work. It was my sixth year as an English and Drama teacher at the local high school in Eatonton, Georgia, a forty five minute drive from our house in Monticello, a tiny rural town an hour south of Atlanta, and an hour north of Macon. Kelly had recently opened up her own business as a massage therapist, in our fair town of 2,000 residents. As I expected, her charm, her warmth, and her many gifts, given by God, made her an instant success in her business, and her schedule was always full. After all, everyone in the small town knew “Kelly from Australia,” and we were very blessed that her career and business was as successful as it was. Indeed, her income was essential to us. I arrived home and gave Kelly and each of the kids a kiss and hug. Kolby and Jace were at the table, having a snack, and Brody was playing in the lounge room. “Kids, come here,” I said, “we have something to talk to you about.” Kelly and I sat across from them in the lounge room. “Children, you know how mommy and I decided to help out other children in need, and you know how we told you we would be foster parents? Well, two little girls are coming to stay with us for awhile.” “Hooray!” Their reaction was immediate, as they jumped off the couch, whooping and hollering. “What time are they coming? Jace asked between missing teeth. “What’s their names?” was Kolby’s question. She was excited to be an older sister to even more siblings. “Where are they going to sleep” Brody wanted to know. His gentle and caring young nature had him concerned for all who were in need. “Well, one little girl is four, and the other is six months,” Kelly told them. “We don’t know their names yet. Brody, the four year old is going to sleep at the other end of your room. How does that sound, son?” “Okay, Mommy,” my three year old boy replied. At church that Wednesday night, our church family was quite interested, as well as supportive. So many questions were flying at us, and we had no answers. The only thing that DFCS, or The Department of Family and Children Services, could tell us is that it would be sometime tonight when they would come. As we were to find out many more times later, as many more foster children would pass through our house, it is often a guessing game when it comes to foster children and DFCS.
Dr. John N. DeGamo wrote his doctoral dissertation on The Challenges that Foster Children Face in Rural Schools. He writes a gardening column for several Georgia newspapers, has written for numerous magazines, and is working on his second book. He is happily married to his Australian wife, and they not only raise four of their own children but have also had over twenty-five foster children share their home with them. He currently resides in Monticello, Georgia, where he is employed as a media specialist for two local schools. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, music, and all things Bela Lugosi.
Great book! Could not put it down, as I read it in one night, late into the evening. Very moving and very emotional story. Highly recommended to any one who loves children.
Loved it!!! Didn't want the story to end when it did. Please do a sequel! I think this book would touch the heart of anyone.
Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)