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A Love Story – Why We Foster

RISE Services, Inc. works with thousands of foster parents across the country to help provide a caring and stable home environment for children who can no longer live safely in their homes or for adults living with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD). Matt and Michelle are foster parents with RISE Services, Inc., and have supported at-risk youth or adults living with I/DD for nearly 20 years. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’d like to share their story and why they have welcomed individuals with disabilities into their family.

Matt and Michelle, foster parents through RISE Services, Inc.

Why Foster?

After becoming parents, Matt and Michelle had a dream to help care for at-risk youth. As their family grew, they felt they needed to take a break. A year and a half later, Michelle heard a RISE Services, Inc. commercial on the radio about fostering individuals with disabilities and became very interested. Initially unsure, Matt knew he had a great partner in Michelle, so they became foster parents.

Support from RISE Services, Inc.

For Matt and Michelle, RISE Services, Inc. has been there every step of the way. Their coordinator supports them however they need and ensures their foster child and family are cared for, too. The caregiving staff from RISE Services, Inc. provides in-home care for their foster son a few nights each week so they can enjoy date night or spend time together. Matt and Michelle also receive respite care when they take vacations, travel for a few days, or feel they need a break. This allows them to come home refreshed and ready to unconditionally love and care for their foster son. 

Challenges & Joys

One of the challenges that Matt and Michelle faced was the patience they would need to offer their son. Just as parents love their children yet experience frustrating moments, foster parents face similar challenges as well. Thankfully, the joys of fostering adults living with I/DD far outweigh the challenges, according to this couple. They love to see their foster son laugh, smile, and enjoy the simple things. This has been a thoughtful reminder for Matt and Michelle to do the same thing. Being foster parents has also had a positive effect on their biological children, who love and respect their foster brother as if he were a part of the family.

Advice for Future Foster Parents

If you are considering fostering, Matt and Michelle recommend looking into different organizations to learn more about the process. You can volunteer, offer respite care, or work a part-time job with RISE Services, Inc. to spend time working with individuals with I/DD before making a long-term commitment. This experience has been a huge blessing for Matt and Michelle, as they have learned, grown, and become better people through loving their son unconditionally. 

Contact Us to Learn More

If you would like to learn more about fostering children who have been removed from their homes or adults living with disabilities, contact us today. Take some time to become familiar with our culture and why we believe in providing opportunities for and with people here at RISE.