Jeremy (age 12) and his younger brother had been in the child welfare system for almost 8 years. They had been placed with multiple foster families throughout that time and eventually were separated. This past July Jeremy was placed with Anthony, a foster parent for over 10 years and a former foster youth himself. Anthony has fostered over 100 older boys and adopted three.
Anthony had temporarily cared for Jeremy multiple times over the years providing respite for the foster parents or during transition from one foster family to another. During that time Anthony and Jeremy developed a strong bond. Knowing that Jeremy would never reunite with his birth parents, Anthony had a discussion with his three boys proposing they welcome Jeremy into their family permanently. Together, after much thoughtful consideration, they decided to move forward with the adoption and grow this family of four to five.
For the adoption to be finalized, Anthony needed to add another bedroom to his home at a significant cost. Renovating his house so that Jeremy could have a forever home was no big deal to him. “You do what you need to do to give these boys a home.” Anthony is just one example of how selfless our foster parents are. They go above and beyond to make sure the children in their care, either temporarily or permanently, are supported and loved.
After learning of his adoption, Jeremy shared that he has a lot of respect for Anthony because “he understands kids in the system because he was one.” He also shared he knows he will be taken care of by Anthony because he sees how he takes care of the other boys in their home. For a 12-year-old boy to have that confidence and comfort for his future is incredibly significant and life changing.
The Villages is so thankful for Anthony and the sacrifices he has made over the past ten years. He is a true hero.