Dykstra Family Story
After being married for four years, Adam and Taylor* felt compelled to open up their home to vulnerable children. Early on in their relationship, they discussed adoption as an option. But it wasn’t until many of their friends became licensed to foster, that they realized foster care was also an opportunity to carry out God’s purpose.
As a couple, they began their research–looking for agencies, gaining an understanding of the child welfare system, and mentally preparing themselves for this journey. Seven months ago, when they received the call to foster two young girls, they were elated.
The girls showed up at their door, energetic and excited. Despite all their preparation, Adam and Taylor soon realized that they were not as equipped as they initially felt. As Taylor put it, “we thought it would be like babysitting!”
But the couple stuck to it and began to bond with the girls. They made progress and developed a rhythm to their new life as a foster family. Then COVID-19 hit. Adam and Taylor panicked—how would life with the girls work in the face of remote learning, economic uncertainty, and the stress of continuing to build a foundational relationship?
They turned to God, knowing that only He could get them through this. That was when they found Chosen.
Chosen helped Adam and Taylor understand their own backgrounds, and how they could use that understanding to improve their relationship with their girls. They began to see the effects of the trauma that the girls had experienced and understood that they needed trauma-informed education. Their appetite for this information grew, and they spent many evenings using resources, implementing components of Chosen’s Trauma-Informed Action Plan® (TAP®), and working with their Chosen care manager to establish healthy attachment to the girls.
Over time, the couple became masters in discipleship for parenting. They began to feel confident and connected with their children. Their agency helped with the legal aspects of their situation but Chosen provided the heart help—giving them the tools necessary for a successful placement.
Through their work with Chosen, Adam and Taylor realized that they had to put in the time to gain trust of their daughters, and they learned that success is built on the relational aspect of parenting. In their words, “they were always having to come to us, it was never us coming to their level and saying, I care about you.” Open dialogue with their Chosen care manager allowed Adam and Taylor to restore peace in their home and establish a connection with the girls.
Struggle is inevitable when you have been touched by the child welfare system. But you don’t have to go through it alone. Chosen is here to walk alongside you on this journey, to provide the tools and resources necessary to create healing in your family.
*Names have been changed.