Sheri Vincent has been a foster parent since April 2011. “It has been a lot of fun,” she says, “and I have met many different types of children during this time.”
Sheri always wanted to be a foster parent, but didn’t know if she would qualify. She was friends with a family whose child was going to be removed by the Department of Children and Families. When she found out about this she decided it was time to try to be a foster parent. Sheri said she would have been devastated if this child, Dylan, who she later adopted, went to a stranger. After Dylan lived with her, Sheri decided she could really help other children, so she kept going as a foster parent.
To Sheri, the most rewarding aspect of being a foster parent is the ability to bring good change to a child’s life. So many of the children who come to her home have been through so much, especially Megan and Chris who lost their mother in a car accident the day they were removed. She gives them love, attention and affection and she can see how it helps to build them into happier children. She also loves that Dylan and Nova-Leigh will grow up under her roof and know they are safe and sound, and have a place to come home to when they leave for college, or whatever lies ahead of them.
Sheri’s biggest challenge in being a foster parent is maintaining a full time job. She wishes she could stay with the children all day long, and also take on more children.
Her fondest story while fostering would be reuniting Chris and Megan back into a relationship with their entire family after the loss of their mother. Sheri made contact with their father, and he was eager to do whatever was necessary to reunite with them. After four conversations, the children met with their father and a new relationship was formed. They see each other often now and have become very close. It makes Sheri happy to know they have rediscovered their family and have that support.
Sheri’s advice to other foster parents is: “Make sure you have the patience to deal with children, who all have different personalities and come from different walks of life and cultures. Each child who has walked through my door has a different take on life and a different story to tell.”