Two families with one goal, begins as Vanessa and Joseph Knickerbocker providing a safe place for two brothers to heal, they would end up embracing the boys’ parents as well.
It all started when the children’s mother Megan had found herself in the throes of substance use disorder. As her addiction deepened, her two young sons ended up in foster care. And she didn’t trust Vanessa and Joseph, their foster parents.
But then, a transformation began – slowly, but consistently. Vanessa, Joseph and their children began loving Megan and her husband as much as they loved the boys. The two families spent time together. Megan felt supported and encouraged. With time, they become two families with one goal.
“We think ‘these people’ who lose their kids are different from us. We have to change how we view them.”
– Vanessa Knickerbocker, Tooele foster parent
Slowly, the two families started to trust each other. The Knickerbockers invited Megan over for family celebrations and game nights. They got to know each other as human beings. Finally, Megan got clean and sober and the boys returned to live with her.
“Part of loving the kids is loving the parents,” says Vanessa.
When a child enters foster care, the #1 goal for the case is for the child to return to their family of origin – either parents or other family members. When two families with the same goal of doing what’s best for the kids, Vanessa believes the best outcome will be achieved.
“I had never seen a family interact in this way – they became our role models.” – Megan Carter, Mother
Tune in to First Lady and Friends Podcast to hear First Lady Abby Cox, Vanessa and Megan share a touching conversation about reunification, healing, and friendship.
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