Siders Family – Then / Now Adoption Story

A Story of Faith – Carl Siders

LICENSED – 03/14/2015 – 1/17/2023

ADOPTION DATES: 3/8/2018, 3/3/2020, 5/19/2020, 9/16/2021, 12/29/2022

What inspired you to consider Foster Care & Adoption?

We had two children biologically and both pregnancies were very difficult for my wife. We knew we wanted a bigger family, but we really weren’t sure how that would be possible. We began praying and leaning into our Faith, trusting that God would lead us in the right direction. We were on Beechmont Avenue and saw a park bench with a sign that said, “Become a Foster Parent”. We would drive pass that area often, but never noticed the message on that bench before. We went home that day and began researching how we could become foster parents. We started our journey with another County agency, and after some time we decided that we wanted to find a private agency. That’s when we found Beech Acres. Our first placement was a huge indication of the kind of support Beech Acres offers. Our worker was there from day one with our first placement and continued to be an advocate throughout our entire journey. Having the support of Beech Acres from day one, was exactly what we needed to know we were in the right place. Having them on your side is only a huge benefit when you’re going through this journey.

What was your biggest Fear?

Our biggest fear was that we would fall in love with a child, and they’d leave. We set that fear aside and realized that it’s not about us, it’s about the children. The children are worth the risk. They deserve to feel love, security, and hope. It’s hard when a child you love leaves your home, but what kept us going was knowing that we were able to provide them with a sense of safety and love for the time they had with us.

What’s something you’d like to share with someone considering becoming a Foster Parent?

An important thing to understand is that each child and experience is different. The “5 Love Languages” book, was very impactful in helping us to understand that people feel and show love in different ways. These children long to feel wanted, safe, and that someone cares. We’ve opened our home to many children and supported many families by providing respite care over the years. Every child has a unique story, and it’s important to remember that as you are opening your heart and home. What has helped me grow so much as a dad, is honestly having so many unique experiences and opportunities. When you first have children, you have no idea what to expect. We’ve opened our home to medically fragile children, to kids who don’t understand what it means to feel loved, and children that attach very quickly. Being able to go through all these different experiences with children from different situations has helped me to have a better understanding of what children need. Embrace the journey and be open to new experiences, because the children are worth it.

What kept you moving forward and how do you find balance?

Our faith always keeps us moving forward. We thought we were finished when we had 6 children, but then we met two little girls that fit in our home perfectly. Balance is something we’ve been working on. Self-care and building on our relationship can be difficult at times with 8 children, but we’ve found ways. Parent Break – this is something we created for each other. If we’re feeling overwhelmed or the situation is beyond what we can personally handle at the time, we utilize our “parent break” and rely on the other person to step in so we can have time to ourselves. Date Night looks different these days. Going out isn’t easy, as it’s hard to find someone that can watch 8 children. So, when the kids fall asleep, we spend time together. Sometimes that’s just a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and holding each other while we watch a show. With a big family comes sacrifice, and we knew things would need to change. We wouldn’t change it for anything, and feel very blessed for this life we’ve been given.