“Focus on Our Families” is a series of articles that will feature foster and adoptive parents and their experiences so those inside and outside of the organization will have a better understanding of the importance and the rewards of foster parenting and/or being an adoptive parent.
From the first time they met, Nicole and Jacob Wentzel had at least one common interest. That interest was children. They each knew they wanted to form a family.
As time passed, Nicole and Jacob married. Nicole became a special education teacher and Jacob honed his skills as a cabinetmaker. Soon they were blessed with a daughter and son. Even though they seemingly had the perfect family, Nicole and Jacob “always knew that we would expand our family through adoption.”
Adoption was not a foreign concept to Nicole and Jacob as Nicole’s parents, a cousin, as well as friends, were adoptive parents. Nicole and Jacob witnessed firsthand the gratification and significance of giving permanence and a ‘forever’ family to a child.
Nicole and Jacob decided to pursue foster to adopt as their means to adopting a child.
As part of the Foster to Adopt program, individuals or couples have the goal of adopting a child or children and are approved as foster parents as a means to that goal of providing permanency to a child or children.
Nicole stated, “Friends of ours adopted through CONCERN and had a great experience”, so in March 2016, Nicole and Jacob arranged for CONCERN’s Greater Berks office to provide an information session in their home. Nicole continued, “CONCERN made everything convenient by coming to our home and working around our schedules.”
After learning more about CONCERN and the foster to adopt process, Nicole and Jacob decided to wait until their children were a little older before beginning the process. About a year and a half later, Nicole and Jacob decided the time was right to move forward. In November 2017, a two-week old baby girl was placed in their home and by August 2018, Nicole and Jacob had finalized their adoption and her two older siblings simply adore her.
“Our life has been significantly changed since starting the process with CONCERN. I can’t say enough about how supportive and amazing the staff is. Because of our amazing experience, we have been able to bring more attention to the foster care system by sharing our story. We will continue to support CONCERN and their families.”
Nicole continued her kind words about CONCERN by adding, “Everyone who works at CONCERN is so friendly and supportive. We recommend them to all of our friends and family. CONCERN has changed our lives.”
The Wentzels have continued their support, along with encouraging their church to do the same, by providing the children in our Greater Berks office holiday gifts and by having a back-to-school drive that provided backpacks and school supplies.
As for Nicole’s advice about adoption to others, she says “I’m not going to tell you it’s [adoption] going to be easy, but I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it! Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s fine. It’s not their journey to make sense of it. It’s yours.”
If you wish to experience the joys of becoming a foster and/or an adoptive parent like Nicole and Jacob Wentzel, please contact us.