“I first met my son on December 15, 2016, I received a call (moments after saying goodbye to my first three foster babes that I had loved for 7 months) from a DFCS caseworker asking me if I would take an 11-month-old baby boy that needed a home. As I walked into this little room at the local office – I noticed a blonde boy laying on our caseworker’s shoulder – he immediately looked up when he sensed I was in the room and reached for me. He proceeded to look at me with the biggest blue eyes and gave a slight smile. I knew then he would change my life forever.
Toliver was placed into foster care at birth after being born dependent on methamphetamine and heroin. He spent his first Christmas and New Years in the NICU and then was placed in 3 different foster homes before we found each other.
At first it was difficult because Toliver did not trust me and was having a hard time allowing me to love him. Oh…but after time began to heal his little heart, he began loving and loving hard! I still remember when he first called me ‘mommy’ and the moment he allowed me to hug him tight without pulling away or stiffening his body. What a joy that was!
As time passed, his relationship and visits with his birth mom were scarce – however, we never doubted how much love she had for him! Weeks leading up to her surrendering her rights as a parent – we had a conversation where she shared her heart with me. She expressed her love for him but she knew that loving him meant allowing him to find permanency.
We will forever be grateful that she chose life for Toliver! Without her there would be no him! There is not a day that goes by that I will not thank God for Toliver’s birth mom, and with that I will continue to pray that she will find healing and redemption.
When I first began my journey into fostering I did not have adoption in mind, it was never my intention, but I also wasn’t opposed to it. After graduating from Liberty University I began a job in Virginia – I was making good money, I had my own house, but something was missing. I knew I was not fulfilling what God had placed in my heart. I was content, but not comfortable.
My spirit was constantly at battle. So, I finally made the decision to pack up everything and move back to my hometown in Georgia. I began working, got a nice little cottage house and started the foster parenting classes. The Lord continued to provide me with support and affirmation from friends and family around! My home was officially approved for fostering in May of 2016.
Since then, I have fostered 9 babes! I have loved each of them so much. I pray for them every day. I still follow up with them and have them ‘home’ at times.
On July 25, 2018, surrounded by family, friends, our attorney, our caseworker, and the judge, Toliver James officially and legally became my son! However, the moment I met him in that little room at the local office was the moment he became my son and I became his mommy.
Never would I have imagined I would be not married at 28 years old and a mom to nine babes! But the Lord has been so faithful, kind, full of mercy, and constant throughout this journey. Not to mention the endless support from family and friends – they surround our little family with love and prayer. It has truly been the greatest joy of my life to foster, and now ADOPT.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Cassie Laminack of Tallapoosa, Georgia. Subscribe to our free email newsletter, Living Better—your ultimate guide for actionable insights, evidence backed advice, and captivating personal stories, propelling you forward to living a more fulfilling life.
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