The Story of Courtney and Shawnee
by Linda Ellegard, Executive Director
These young ladies contacted us and stated that they wished to foster children. They are familiar with Special Kids Special Families because their adoptive parents are also foster parents for the agency. For Courtney, being a foster parent has been her life dream. For Shawnee, fostering means that the skills she learned in helping her adoptive parents to care for special needs children in her adoptive home could be put into action.
While completing their home study and learning about each of their life stories; this was when they became the “teacher” to me.
Courtney was removed from her mother because she was often left alone while she was just a baby. She had been in 12 prior foster placements before she came to her adoptive family at the age of 3. She remembers that she refused to eat and had developed her own language and that no one else was able to understand her. Foster parents didn’t know what to do with her. She also remembers when Shawnee came into the foster home, and how happy she was to have her foster sister.
Shawnee, also was only about three years old when she was placed in her adoptive home. She also remembers her mother being gone frequently. She and her brother were malnourished, she remembers eating Taco Bell wrappers, because they had remnants of food on them. She also remembers her first night in the foster home, and just how good the mattress and clean sheets felt. She felt safe.
This is where nurture and nature contributed to two young women turning out to be such competent, caring and capable women. No doubt they each possess inner strengths. When their foster home adopted them, they gained a strong family relationship. They also had a loving and stable foster home, taking the modeling and words of wisdom from their adoptive parents and are using them to help other children.
As a foster care agency, we are blessed to have Courtney and Shawnee as foster parents. They have cared for a variety of children, including children with special needs. They are making a difference.