Caring for Children Who Need Love

. March 31, 2019.
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Jolliff family finds foster parenting very rewarding

Heidi and Terry Jolliff, both physical therapists, met at the University of Findlay and have been married for 15 years. A desire to adopt children led them to open their home. Now with four children through foster care and with two growing biological kids (Brady and Izzy), the family finds foster parenting both challenging and incredibly rewarding.

Becoming foster parents

Heidi explains that choosing to become foster parents was a process for the couple. “We were not able to have any more biological kids after Izzy was born, so God really opened the door to look into growing our family through adoption. We prayed over that for a long time and finally landed in foster care in a roundabout way,” she explains.

The Jolliff family has had two different foster placements with young sibling pairs ranging in age from seven weeks to age three. Both placements were with them for about a year.

“As you can imagine, foster parenting turns everything upside down for many reasons. For one, you don’t have that blessing of growing into your children, knowing them from birth and getting used to them as they grow and they change. Instead you’re trusted with these precious kids who have been torn from their homes and everything that they know. Typically structure is not something they are used to, but it doesn’t take long before they start to thrive on routine and find comfort in that,” says Heidi.

Loving them like our own

“From what we’ve experienced, we just love and treat them like they’re ours forever. Even if we have these kids for just a little while, we try to love them as much as we can and share as much of Christ as we can with them. We pray that it will make a difference in their lives and the lives of their family members ,” she adds.

Heidi describes watching their biological kids build relationships with the foster kids they have cared for as a huge blessing. “At first it was a little bit hard because it naturally takes time of yours away from your biological kids. But each time Izzy and Brady have just adored the children we have had and think of them like their brother and sister. It has been such a good thing for our kids to learn not only how to love a younger sibling but how we’re called to care for people in our midst who are in need of love,” she says.

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Encouraging other foster parents

Heidi encourages anyone interested in foster parenting to take the next step. “I encourage people, if they have even the smallest desire, to reach out to one of the agencies in town and seek more information. These kids need love and there are so many wonderful people in our community that could provide that,” she says.

Their Findlay Favorites:

Favorite restaurant in Findlay: Chick-fil-A— the resounding answer from the whole family.
Favorite place to spend time as a family: Our home. As a growing family that’s busier and busier. We enjoy being home together.
Favorite place to shop: The local shops in Downtown Findlay.
Favorite date night spot: Findlay Brewing Company, The Wine Merchant or Rossili’s.
Favorite place to get ice cream: Dietsch’s.
Favorite place to get coffee: We Serve. Coffee.