When her husband, Ron, told her he wanted to become a foster parent, Danette was nervous.
She was worried her biological children, Nicole and Nathaniel, would not get along with the children they would bring into their home.
She didn’t know how her extended family would welcome the children, knowing they would likely have to say goodbye one day when the children were reunified with their birth parents.
But something in her heart knew she needed to move past her fears.
“I honestly believe it’s a call from God to do it,” she says. “There were kids who needed help.”
In 2004, Danette and Ron became licensed foster parents.
The details Danette had once worried about were now a joy to experience. She got to see Nicole and Nathaniel befriend each child who came to their home. She watched as her own parents warmly celebrated each birthday and holiday with the children in her care.
For the next five years, they opened their home to children in need of a safe, temporary place to stay – nine in total. In 2009, they adopted Kyle, one of the children they had fostered. That year, they decided to take a break from fostering to focus on supporting Kyle as he transitioned into their forever family.
But last fall, they felt the pull to foster again. They personally knew a child who was in need of a foster home, and they renewed their foster care license to welcome him into their home.
Danette also began working for LSI Foster Care and Adoption team to recruit new foster families. Across western Iowa, Danette trains prospective foster families and dispels some of the myths families might have about foster care.
“The biggest part is educating, explaining how trauma affects children and how this is happening all over Iowa. It’s not something that just happens far away. It’s close to home.” Danette says.