Would you open your home and heart to a stranger? A child you’ve never met? A child you know nothing about except a first name and age perhaps?
Fostering isn’t an easy game. It usually involves a frantic call, often late at night, from a placement manager who has a child in need of family to care for him or her indefinitely.
Jordan Grier and his wife Amy barely blinked at those questions. They began their foster journey in 2015, working in conjunction with Embrace Families, the agency that manages the foster care system in Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties.
“When she initially came to me with this idea of fostering, it was definitely a shock and something that wasn’t easy for me to say yes to,” Grier told fox35orlando.com.
The first foster children came in the middle of the night. They were twins (Winnie and Jordan Jr.), only nine months old and “they were so small and they are awesome,” Amy said.
But the Griers didn’t just provide a home for temporary shelter from the twins. They adopted them a year-and-a-half later.
Their journey doesn’t end there, either. Since then, they have continued to step up as foster parents, welcoming more than 17 children into their home.
It never gets easier. Bonds are formed. There is love, compassion and kindness. But as most foster stories end, there is loss and sadness.
“Ultimately, if you don’t do it, if no one does it, then these kids are never going to experience the love and care that they need,” Jordan said. “And so, you get to hold on to all the good memories, and you get to have that long-lasting impact on their lives.”
Giving a child a home for the holidays is the ultimate gift of unconditional love. It is not for everyone. But for the Griers and others, there is nothing like taking that journey. Those twins may still be too small to echo those sentiments, but they eventually will.
“The dirty little secret of adoption is it’s not perfect,” said Glen Casel, President and CEO of Embrace Families. “Adoptions fail. Adopted parents do mean things. It happens. But we take the information we’ve got and make the next best decision we can make. And if the parents’ rights have been terminated, we’ve got to find somebody.”
They found Jordan and Amy Grier. In turn, Winnie and Jordan Jr. found a forever family.