Several years ago, while volunteering with youth at a local homeless shelter, Wayne Short had a conversation with a fellow volunteer who suggested that he consider becoming a foster parent. Wayne admitted that he was skeptical at first. He loved kids and had raised his own sons to adulthood as a single parent, but he wasn’t sure he was ready to be a foster parent.
In 2008, Wayne came to Child & Family Services to get more information about foster care. After going through the certification process, he decided to become a foster parent. In 2011, Wayne received a call from the Agency’s Foster Care Program staff about two boys, Lamont, age 11, and Lashawn, age 9. They were looking for a home for one of the boys, but hearing they were brothers, Wayne couldn’t separate them. Wayne himself has six siblings, and he understood the importance of family during tough times. "I wanted to give them stability, a place to call home."
Very quickly, the boys became part of the family. After about a year, the staff at Child & Family Services approached Wayne about adopting the boys, even though he had initially joined the program as a foster parent. Without hesitation, Wayne knew he would adopt them. "They’re home now," he said.
Just before Christmas 2012, Wayne adopted Lamont and Lashawn. Speaking with Wayne, it is apparent that Lamont and Lashawn are very special to him. As he talks about them, he exudes a love that only a proud parent could display. He explained that the biggest reward of being a foster and adoptive parent has been seeing the children he cares for happy.
When asked what he would share with others who may be thinking about becoming foster or adoptive parents, he simply said, "give it a try." The experience he’s had over the last five years has been far beyond what he imagined it might be, adding two sons to his family. Even his older sons and his sister are considering becoming foster parents, because of Wayne. "While it isn’t always easy," he explained, "every day gets better and better."
Thanks to Wayne Short (center), biological brothers Lashawn (left) and Lamont (right) now have a ‘forever family’ to call their own.