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CFA: Foster parents take in 5 kids

| December 3, 2020 1:08 AM

As part of the annual Press Christmas for All Campaign, we share with readers the stories of the people applying for help. Here’s one of them.

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After a decade of marriage, “Amanda” and her husband didn’t intend to have kids just yet.

“I’m a big planner, and so is he,” she said.

The couple had certain goals they wanted to reach before growing their family. But plans have a way of changing.

In a year and a half, the couple went from child-free to parents of five.

“I guess God decided no more waiting,” Amanda said with a laugh.

When a friend could no longer take care of her baby, Amanda and her husband didn’t hesitate to take the child in.

They had the means, she said, and so there was no question. It felt like the natural thing to do.

“We’ve always believed in sharing our blessings,” she said.

They became licensed foster parents to care for the baby. It wasn’t long before they were asked to take in another child — a little boy who turned out to have siblings also in need of a foster home.

Though the husband and wife each come from a big family, it wasn’t easy to transition from just the two of them to a family of seven.

“It’s been a lot of tears, but it’s all been worth it,” she said.

All five children have experienced trauma, Amanda said, and each one has unique needs. The 2-year-old has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“We’ve had to do trauma counseling and work with many other resources just to give him the best shot possible,” Amanda said.

Though the family receives some money from the state to help offset the costs of fostering, money is still tight. The family had to move into a bigger house to accommodate five children who arrived with few belongings, and Amanda had to leave her job as a nurse to care for them.

“We’re just trying to do the best we can for the kids,” she said.

This year, the family would appreciate help buying winter clothes for the kids, as well as groceries and gas.

Amanda said she used to have a sort of stereotypical idea of what foster families were like — troubled kids and uncaring foster parents. But those stereotypes don’t reflect her reality.

“It’s been the most beautiful, life-changing experience for our family,” she said. “As hard as it gets, the blessings far outweigh the challenges.”

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This is the 35th year Press Christmas for All has worked to brighten the lives of Kootenai County residents in need.

Each year, Press readers donate generously to the program. Every penny raised is distributed to Kootenai County residents. All overhead costs are covered by The Hagadone Corp.

The gift recipients are our neighbors who are struggling, including the elderly, disabled, homeless and mentally ill.

Many who seek assistance from Christmas for All are working, but living near or below the poverty level. The beneficiaries of Press Christmas for All are going to keep their dignity intact while the community provides a hand up to help get them back on their feet.

Press Christmas for All is managed by The Hagadone Corp., with assistance from CharityReimagined.Org. It is a legally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit, run entirely by volunteers.

Please help. Make your tax-deductible donation today any of four ways:

• Mail a check to Press Christmas for All, 215 N. Second St., Coeur d’Alene, 83814

• Call The Press and make a secure credit card donation over the phone: 208-664-8176

• Go to cdapress.com. Click on Christmas for All at the top of the page.

• Drop off your check at The Press weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.: 215 N. Second St. in downtown CDA.

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Donors:

Richard and Janet Erickson; Michael Jeske; Judith A. Farrey; Arthur and Nancy Flagan; Donna Bresemann; In memory of William (Bill) Capen, retired U.S. Air Force; In memory of our grandson Tyler Cordle, Bill and Donna Armbruster; Catherine E. Tinder; Gary J and Sandra D Sonnen; Ada May Foster; Georgia Rae and James Clay Warren; Cecil W. and Patricia Booth; In memory of Bob Donovan and Jerry Donovan; John Allen McGinnis and Susan A McGinnis; Lois H Pereira and Leland Pereira; Caroline Smith; Lagonda McDonald; Paul C Conger; Teddy J. Conger; Constance Howerton; Kathy Montgomery; Robert H and Sally A Wallace; Berlene J Harless; Helen R. Mitchell and Holly J. Mitchell McNee; Barbara B Zimmer; Robert M and Jackie L Jewett; Thomas and Stephanie Koennel

OVER $500:

Don and Tam Maryon; Marcus Anderson; Barry Williams; Robert and Mary Kay Yuditsky; PJ Davis; Kenneth H. Olsen; In memory of Janice F. Bodlander; Dewitt Andrew Barton JR. and Ardith Marie Barton; Ward W and Martha B Stewart; Valerie B Devaleria and James M Gerecke