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

Sean Anders, foster and adoptive dad and director of "Instant Family"

Filmmaker Sean Anders and his wife became foster parents in 2012, welcoming three siblings — now 13, 9, and 8 — into their L.A. home. Today, said Anders, “we’re like any other family.” In making "Instant Family," Anders wants audiences to walk out with a fresh perspective. “When people hear the words foster care, instead of having feelings of fear, pity and trepidation,” he said, “hopefully it’ll bring up feelings of empathy and positivity knowing that these kids just need families to love them. They’re just like the rest of us.”

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Curtis and Darlene Bell of Minnesota

"The Bells really exemplify what kind of parenting we want to get to in the whole state,” said Mary Lennick, executive director of Family Alternatives, a Minneapolis-based private foster care agency that licenses the Bells. When foster children come into their home, the Bells often throw a welcome party. “We don’t even call them our foster kids. When we’re out, we just call them our grandchildren,” Darlene Bell said. “It’s just all about family.”

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Elysia and Shaun McCullough of Ohio

Elysia and Shaun McCullough are therapeutic foster parents, which requires special training in caring for children with extra needs. The McCulloughs are dedicated to helping turn those lives around. “You’ve learned to watch them change and turn into these amazing little people and to know that they are taking that with them to go back to their family is amazing,” Elysia said. “The most rewarding and challenging journey that I have ever embarked on.”

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Jacob and Rebecca Durrett of Louisiana

The Durretts want everyone to know that even though many children pass through your home and you will feel a lot of heartbreak and struggle, anyone willing to give a child a home should become a foster parent. It is very rewarding.

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Bekah and John Weirich of Texas

Bekah and John Weirich were named 2019 Foster Parents of the Year. "We have all colors, all races, all genders," said John Weirich. "Some of our family doesn't live with us anymore, but they're still our family."

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Chris and Emily Norton of Iowa

Chris and Emily, originally from Iowa and now living in Florida, celebrate adopting four daughters from foster care.  

Joe Toles of New York

Joe Toles of Queens grew up in foster care. Since then, he’s wanted to provide stability and security for vulnerable teens and early 20-somethings. He's adopted seven sons on his own. “It takes work, but I make the effort in nurturing the relationships,” Toles says. “Until I took the plunge, I would never have understood the real difference it’s made to all our lives. Love happens and it changes everything.”

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The Whitlock Family of New York

The Whitlocks have been married 23 years, and Lee says, "I think fostering made us better parents. Jessie Whitlock counted a total of 28 children for whom they have provided a home as foster parents or for respite care. The family with four children is now a family with eight children. They adopted two sets of twins, ranging from ages 4 to 17. 

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