Terrence Calhoun and son

Sponsored Content l May 7, 2018

How I Built a Family and Made a Difference

By Terrence Calhoun 

I’ve always loved children, but for many years, I didn’t have the desire to raise my own. Then, as I got older, I realized I was missing out on something special. I knew if I didn’t attempt to become a parent, I would regret it for the rest of my life. A friend encouraged me to look into fostering. That was six years ago. As someone who has strong faith, I knew this was God’s work for me to do.

My first foster children were brothers, ages 5 months and 5 years. They stayed with me for only about three months, but I could tell I was having a positive impact on them. The older boy seemed to do better in school. They left to live with their aunt, but the experience made me want to do more.

Before long, I got another call. A 5-month-old boy needed a safe home because he had 27 broken bones! I agreed to take him and slowly nurtured him back to health. I was amazed at his strength and resilience. I also met his parents. I realized that my fostering not only gave the child a chance to heal but also gave his parents time to get the help they needed to provide an appropriate loving home. The child eventually returned to his parents. I still see him occasionally. He is growing up healthy and strong, and I’m proud to have played a part in making that happen.

Next, I took a 10-month-old boy. He was a wonderful child whose mother said she no longer wanted to care for him. Even at 10 months, he was feisty and busy. I got to see many of his developmental milestones including his first steps and his first words. He was so active! One day after putting him in his crib, I went downstairs. But then I heard crying that was getting louder and louder. I turned around and saw that he had climbed out of his crib, come down the steps, and had his arms up wanting me to hold him! In that moment, I realized we loved each other. I decided to adopt him. That led to a long, contentious trial. But in the end, we became a forever family.

Fostering and adopting have made me a better person, more compassionate and patient. This morning when I dropped my son at school, out of nowhere he said, “I really love you, Daddy.” I melted and said, “I love you more.”

Throughout my journey, CFSA has helped me at every step. As a single parent, it’s important to have a support system. Some of the people at CFSA have hearts of gold. My support worker is always there to help. And CFSA has a ton of resources that help make this work possible—good training and connections to other foster parents in a supportive network. CFSA has been extremely inclusive and affirming of me and my family.

I encourage you to become a foster/adoptive parent. It’s a life-changing experience. You never know what you can do until you do it—and then amazing things happen. I am a living witness. Learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent through Child and Family Services Agency by calling 202-671-LOVE (5683) and visiting www.fosterdckids.org.

Photo of Terrence Calhoun and his son courtesy of Child and Family Services Agency

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