The Henderson Family| A Story of Foster Care, Adoption, and Endless Love

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This is my family!!  My brother Mark and his wife Renee were married in 2009.  They always wanted kids and when they began to try to start a family, they were told they would not be able to conceive a child, apart from a miracle.  In 2012, they started their licensing process for foster care.  All along, God had a plan.  He had a plan for these 3 little munchkins to get placed in the most loving of homes and He had a plan to keep them there.  Mark and Renee had no clue when they started their foster journey 2,160 days ago that this would be where they would end up! Triply blessed with 3 of the most amazing little people!! These kids are so much fun and each of their personalities completes the Henderson family perfectly.  They have since closed their foster license and are enjoying their beautiful little family....and trying to establish a new normal.  After 4 years of craziness with foster care and 15 placements, their kids now have a home, and our lives would not be the same without them in it!! Heres is a little bit about some of my favorite little humans! 

 4 1/2 years old 

4 1/2 years old 

Ozzie (Austin), their oldest, was their first foster care placement back in 2013.  They got the call 4 hours after their license was official to go to the hospital to pick up 4 day old Austin.  It was a whirlwind!! One minute they are processing paperwork, and the next, they are picking up a newborn.  The most perfect little newborn!! I remember taking his newborn pictures and falling in love with him immediately!!! In February of 2015, they adopted Austin and he became a forever member of the Henderson family!! Austin, also known as Ozzie, is pretty much the most hilarious kid you will ever meet!! He is equal parts sweet and spunky and always has a list of unending questions.  He speaks in a super high voice when he is excited and I can never understand anything he says, but he's saying it with such excitement that you can't help but get excited too!! He and his cousins love each other so much and enjoy lots of play time and nerf gun wars.  He's a tiny guy but loves to challenge his much bigger cousin, my son, Andrew.  It's kind of like watching a raccoon try and tackle a bear....it's pretty hilarious!! Ozzie has changed our lives forever and has taught all of us so much!!! 

 3 1/2 Years Old 

3 1/2 Years Old 

This is Millie.  Millie Claire.  Could they have picked any more of a perfect name for her????  They got the call for her in February of 2015 and we met her for the first time on Easter.  She was a chubby little thing! Her gorgeous brown eyes just melted your heart and you were putty in her hands.  Renee would always tell me about her crazy little fits she would throw, but every time I was around her, she was a perfect angel.....until the day she wasn't....and I saw the other side of sweet Millie.  This girl has lungs!! Good thing she is the cutest thing you have ever seen!! And she definitely uses it to her advantage.  She is the first one to greet me with a hug when we walk through the door and she loves to cuddle and be held.  She loves to dress up and is into all things girlie.  Although I don't have a daughter of my own....I am pretty sure I will be stealing her when she is older for shopping and pedicure days with Auntie!!  They adopted Millie in April of 2017.  As with Austin, we could not imagine life without this spunky little gorgeous girl!! She's such a joy to have around!!! 

 2 1/2 Years Old 

2 1/2 Years Old 

And then there is this guy.  Lincoln.  The caboose to the crazy train.  This kid always has some sort of bruise, scrape, or bump somewhere....he's kind of like a wrecking ball!! He joined their family in May of 2016.  We would call him guy smiley because he ALWAYS had this big goofy smile on his face and always laughing.  Now don't get me wrong, he has his moments and his temper, but he is hilarious!! You cannot be around him for 5 minutes without him doing something ridiculous or crazy and he always has an audience of people laughing along with him.  He even has his own hashtag....that's right.  You know you want to go look now!! Check out all his craziness.... #thefacesoflincoln

There should be lots of GIFS made of him.  He's THAT funny!!! Lincoln became part of our forever family this year in March.  He brings such joy and craziness to our family!!! He's the perfect boy to complete the adorable little Henderson crew!! 

 

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I love my brother, of course, and he is the greatest dad to these kids.  I always knew he would be an amazing father some day, but there's something to be said about watching him in action.  He is so patient with them and there is a bond there that is unlike any other.  I am so proud of him!! And Renee.....well, she is pretty much a rockstar.  If you know anything about the foster care system, then you know how messed up it can be.  They have been through so many highs and lows, followed by many more highs and lows.  It's literally a roller coaster ride for your emotions and when you put your heart and soul into caring for these kids, it can be a tough battle to fight.  She has gone on endless doctors appointments, social worker visits, therapy appointments, calls, court hearings, and the list goes on and on.  They have fought for the kids that had no voice and were fighting as their advocates to bring the best possible situation for the child.  Some losses....and some wins! It is a heart wrenching life sometimes as a foster mom, but it can also be so rewarding.  She has handled each situation with grace and love....and a lot of crying.  She is an incredible mother and has more love for all of their children that they have taken care of than I have ever seen in another......15 placements....15 children taken out of their homes from no fault of their own.....and placed into the loving Henderson home.  Each one loved and cared for like their own.  They are amazing!! 

I asked Renee to share a little bit about foster care for anyone who may be thinking of embarking on that adventure: 

"You can’t sugar coat it. Foster care is hard. It is possibly the hardest thing we have done in our lives. Our lives were turned upside down and we were put in some incredibly difficult situations. What we faced pales in comparison to what the children being brought into foster care go through though. Foster care gave me the chance to witness miracles, practice (sometimes daily) faith and trust in God’s plan and timing, and know first hand that God keeps promises. He put a desire on my heart to be a mother and while that may look a little different than usual, I am a mom to 3 beautiful children. If you are considering foster care, do your research. It isn’t for everyone. If believe you are up for the challenge though, these kids need you!"

If you are thinking about foster care or have any questions, please reach out to her! She would love to help you and answer any questions.  She also LOVES doing instagram stories and sharing their crazy life and she would love for you to follow their journey.  You can find her on instagram under-- Themanimom   

Go follow her <3