Blended Family Fosters and Adopts Five Siblings
Looking after a big family can be hard work but it can also be immensely rewarding. Just ask Kevin and Roberta! These two married in November 2020 and brought their four children together to create a happy blended family. But the adventure didn’t stop there! Kevin and Roberta realized they had a lot more love to give and decided to share that love with children in foster care. Today we chat with Roberta Hinkle about her family’s journey and experience fostering to adopt. We are excited to share their story!
Becoming A Foster Family
There are many different reasons a family decides to open their home to children in foster care. Kevin and Roberta’s story of becoming a foster family begins when the couple decided to expand their family and have more children together. Unfortunately, Roberta found she was unable to carry any more children of her own. But that didn’t stop them there! Roberta describes how she was given a sign to share her family’s love with other children.
One Sunday we were in church and our pastor was preaching about adoption. I felt like God was speaking directly to me and it was very clear this was the path we wanted to take. At this point we didn’t know you could adopt through the foster system, we just knew we wanted to help children to feel safe and loved.
From that moment Kevin and Roberta eagerly started their search to adopt a child. Along the way, they discovered the Matching Assistance Program which provides support to approved families who are seeking to adopt from foster care. This new discovery shifted Kevin and Roberta’s focus toward becoming a foster family! Not only did they want to help children in foster care but they made it their mission to support birth parents with reunification.
In three years we had fostered and successfully returned four kids to their biological families.
A Growing Family
The couple continued helping children in foster care and found joy in sharing their home. But one day a wonderful opportunity to grow their family presented itself. (And wow did it grow!) On March 11, 2022, after 1,647 days in foster care, Kevin and Roberta adopted a sibling set of five. Their family of six quickly and happily became a family of eleven!
Because we had four biological children we had really never considered adopting a sibling set much less a sibling set of five. I guess we just never dreamed that God would have such a big plan for our family.
Normally, finding a suitable foster home for siblings can be a challenge. And although thirty-seven states currently have statutes requiring agencies to make reasonable efforts to place siblings together, it is estimated that 70% of siblings are still separated while in foster care. That’s why we’re so happy Kevin and Roberta opened their home to these five siblings!
With such a big change Kevin and Roberta had to make some adjustments to fit the needs of their new family of eleven. They purchased a new house for their big blended family and began the never-ending work of balancing their children’s activities. Soon enough the couple was learning to juggle their full-time jobs with summer camps, after-school sports, and household chores.
As you can imagine a household with nine children can be very demanding at times! Roberta admits it was a little challenging but she is grateful for the help her teenage children provided. They were able to give the couple a much-needed break by babysitting and driving their siblings to activities (Thanks guys!).
Words Of Wisdom
Roberta reflects on her four years through their foster to adopt journey and shares what she learned with us. When asked about one of her favorite experiences through this process Roberta expresses her gratitude toward the helpful relationships formed with their case planners, counselors, and social workers. Roberta also shares her advice to people considering adopting through foster care –
Adopting from foster care can be very very rewarding. But it is also a very very LONG, SLOW, and UNCERTAIN process. You need to be able to compartmentalize each phase of the foster to adopt process. You need to be able to focus on building a relationship with the birth family and help them try to succeed at getting their children back. Haivng to be willing to say goodbye, and at the same time you have to love those children and be everything for them! You have to be willing to let your heart get broken so the kids’ hearts do not.
Thank you, Kevin and Roberta, for sharing your story of adopting five siblings. For more information on how to adopt through foster care, check out our adoption calculator. If you are not able to adopt or foster at this time, please consider making a donation with Together We Rise and help transform how children experience foster care.
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