Gallery of Strength: Gansen Family

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“Our job is to love kids, make them feel safe, and give them a good home!!”

Five years ago, Therese and her husband Joel had their whole world changed.  They were “blown away at the amount of children in the foster care system for our small demographic.” Therese said. After a friend had planted the seed of considering the idea of fostering, they weighed the time commitment and obligations it would take to become foster parents and after three years of preparation they knew they were ready to move forward with the process.

What they didn’t know was that only after two hours of receiving their license they would get a phone call for their first placement. “We were advised we didn’t have to take the very first case, but it was a perfect match to what we had for all of our check marks.” Therese told us. “We had the opportunity to help out very young siblings that would allow them to live under the same roof for the first time since they were born.”

Therese told us how excited and happy they were to have them both together, Jasmine at 2 years old and Theodore at 1 year.  They soon realized that they wanted to adopt them both in order to keep them together as they grew, within 18 months they had adopted both children.

“Having siblings made going through all the details and paper work that people needed to work with much faster and a lot easier. We didn’t realize the amount of benefits that the siblings would be to each other. The fact that they are able to do everything together, they almost act like twins. The connection they have to each other now made it all worth it.”

Therese would advise others looking into fostering to be sure that they “Don’t fall for the pressures of having to feel a certain way. Let the time build the natural affection and establish each other to embrace the process of foster care and adoption.” They both urge others to remember that whether short-term or a long-term, opening our hearts and our homes will help create a change in our community and change the life of the kids who are and one day will be so important to us all.

Written by: Monique Kuhns
Photo by: Angie Jungling