June 5, 2021

Empty Nesters Grow Family Through Foster Care

Everyone’s foster journey is different. Some people know from childhood that they will foster, and others come across fostering later in life. For Melanie Taylor Hunt and her family, the foster and adoption process started after their daughter left for college and they became empty nesters.

How Their Journey Began

It was very quiet in our house and we felt like we had plenty of love to share so we started the foster care process in 2014. We were licensed in December of that 2014. In March of 2015 we got our first placement.

Their first placement was two Native American siblings and this placement ended up becoming a permanent part of their lives. The Hunt’s ended up adopting the siblings in June of 2019.

What Their Process Was Like

Their process, like most others in the foster care system, was emotional and challenging. Melanie explains,

It seemed like every time we got closer to termination, something would happen and we would be back at square one. We not only had biological parent issues but the Indian Child Welfare Act was also part of the process. It was hard. At times we thought, are we doing the right thing? Are we making a difference? But at the end of the day we knew God had a plan.

Keeping faith throughout this process is difficult but Melanie and her family did it. Their belief that everything would work out for them and the siblings got them through the difficult times.

A Life-Changing Connection

Melanie said this after the siblings were placed in their home; they were her first placement, and they became a permanent family. When asked about her experience and what was the best part, Melanie shared,

The best experience we have had … was gaining more family. We were able to make strong connections with the kids’ maternal and paternal family and they continue to be in the kids’ lives.

She is very happy to have extended her family. Throughout the process, they also became grandparents which allows the kids and their grandson to grow up together as a close family. Melanie told us, “Our bond as a family has become stronger and our family has grown!”

Melanie’s Advice To Future/Current Foster Parents

Go into this with an open heart. Always remember that the ultimate goal is reunification and you need to support this even though it may not end up in adoption.

We would like to thank Melanie for sharing her story and for sharing this wonderful advice to keep an open heart and mind. While the adoption process can be extremely difficult, it can bring a second life to empty nesters or anyone wanting a family.

If you are interested in fostering and adopting, check out these resources!

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