Welcome to the foster family story project. Here you will find stories of amazing foster families. CHAMPS is proud to feature these families and we invite you to join in saying #ThanksFosterFamilies for all they do to help children and families. These stories are shareable through Facebook and Twitter.

Submit a story about a foster family you know by completing this short, easy-to-use form.

For more information about CHAMPS, please visit our main website at fosteringchamps.org

Kim and Scott Wesbrook, foster parents in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Over the last seven years, Kim and Scott Wesbrook have welcomed nine babies into their southwest Cedar Rapids home. They’ve cared for them, changed their diapers, fed them bottles, gotten up with them in the middle of the night and rocked them to sleep. The Wesbrooks are foster parents, caring for children who need a safe place. Some were in their care for days, some for months. Taking in these babies hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been worth it, Kim said. “I think everybody has a way to make the world a better place, and at this point in my life, for me and my husband, this is ours,” she said.
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Five Foster Families Making a Difference, Ohio

The Herald-Star recently sat down with five foster parents to get an insight of the challenges and rewards of being a foster parent. Molly and Tyler Bayless of Toronto have a 3-year-old biological daughter and now a 1-year-old foster son. They have been foster parents for two years. Joleen and Eric Polk of Toronto have an 8-month-old foster son. They have been foster parents for a little more than one year. Amie Cline of Wintersville has a 9-month-old foster daughter. She has been a foster parent for nine months as a single mother. Brenda Milliken of Steubenville has two biological daughters, ages 29 and 15, and has a pair of siblings, an 11-month-old foster son and a 3-year-old foster daughter. She has been a foster parent since December. Tyler Bayless said he and his wife saw there was a need for foster parents in the county and wanted to help.
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Foster parents Sarah and Rodney DeMerchant of Meriden, Connecticut Help Family Reunite

Foster parents Sarah and Rodney DeMerchant help Tiffany Strain and Gabriel Mercado reunite with their children after they receive supportive services from Connecticut's Department of Children and Family Services. The biological parents joined the foster parents shared their reunification story at a DCF sponsored event at the iHeart Radio Dunkin’ Music Lounge in Hartford in May 2019.
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John and Christina Hayes, Virginia

John and Christina Hayes were recognized as the 2019 Foster Parents of the Year by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Board of Directors. They originally requested to care for young children and infants, but when they were asked to take care of a 15-year-old, special needs child, they immediately agreed. They made sure that all of his medical and educational needs were met in addition to participating in activities like basketball, baseball, and golf.  They have worked with both of his biological parents to make sure they continue to be involved in his life. He is now 18 years old and they want him to remain with them as part of their family. In addition, the Hayes family welcomed a three-week-old baby girl, who was placed with them last October.

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Jeff and Bonnie Edwards, Allen County, Ohio

Ohio's Allen County Children Services honored Jeff and Bonnie Edwards this month for being a foster parents for 40 years. Upon receiving this recognition, Bonnie says, "We go ahead and just accept them in our home like our own family. We don’t have any kind of stipulations on them as they come, until later on if they need it. But it’s like having your own child." Jeff says, "It’s been a rewarding experience for us. We receive a lot of accolades for what we do, but it’s a two-way street. Those children have blessed our lives tremendously."

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Trumbull County, Ohio Foster Parents Speak

Four of Ohio's Trumbull County Children Services' foster caregivers speak on their experience of fostering and adopting and share the ups and downs, highlights and challenges of fostering children. Excerpts of what they have to say:
"When you think about fostering... think about what you can do for the children." 
"Fostering is a way to help a family in need." 
"They [the children] melt your heart." 
"We have this saying, if we can't adopt a child, let's adopt a mother...help the mom out."
"There are a lot of people, foster parents and others, who are invested in helping children. I'm glad we're part of this community." 
Watch and hear more from these amazing foster families. 

Corrine and Roger Vogel, California

Corrine and Roger Vogel will have been foster parents for 46 years, first in Pennsylvania and nearly 34 years in California. The couple has cared for 142 foster children, including the six they adopted. It also includes the infant girl – not yet 5 months old – who they are caring for now.

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