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The Journey Meant for Them: Ines and Richard’s Foster Care Path

Author: The Buckeye Ranch

When Ines and Richard were ready to start a family, they discovered they were unable to do so biologically. Considering alternative ways to build their family, they decided to explore foster care and adoption, which led them to a foster care orientation session with The Buckeye Ranch. There, they knew immediately that foster care was the journey meant for them. Flash forward to today, Ines and Richard have been licensed foster care parents with The Buckeye Ranch for over five years now, opening their hearts to numerous youth while expanding their family through foster care adoption.  

seeking certification

Ines and Richard completed their training with The Buckeye Ranch, a process that includes 24 hours of cumulative training to become licensed, including First Aid and CPR. “The Buckeye Ranch made this process incredibly smooth,” shared Ines and Richard. Available in-person and online, the foster care training courses are designed to be as accessible as possible. Ines and Richard appreciated that the courses were offered on a regular basis to provide families like theirs ample opportunity to efficiently obtain foster care licenses, so they can more readily become a safe place for young people in need.  

building love, trust, and support

In the five years since becoming licensed foster parents, Ines and Richard have opened their hearts and home to several youth ages 0-16. Their biggest lesson? That all kids need is love, and when you open your heart to youth in foster care, that shared love can change your life in unimaginable ways. 

When love is present, you can build trust to help youth work through trauma, better manage emotional responses and behaviors, and provide safety – creating a life-changing impact. A key part of this process, they say, has been having access to the Foster Care team at The Buckeye Ranch. Knowing they have 24/7 on-call support and a dedicated case worker that knows their story helps them navigate difficult conversations and circumstances with their foster children. “The support from The Buckeye Ranch has been critical to allowing us to maintain trust with our children and continue to model healthy relationships for them,” shares Ines. The Buckeye Ranch offers a wide range of support services exclusively to all foster parents, aiming to make the journey as easy as possible. 

never on their own

The journey to becoming a foster parent is full of learnings and challenges, including navigating the child welfare system, understanding how to support youth in managing, and sometimes uncovering, their traumas, and approaching care with trauma-informed responses.  

But Ines and Richard share that with The Buckeye Ranch, they know they are never alone in this journey, and because of that, their three beautiful children now also know they will never be alone. Richard shares, “There is always a Buckeye Ranch team member available to help us when we need it. The Buckeye Ranch foster care team makes sure we know that we always have a person we can call to figure out the best way to show up for our kids, helping us build their trust, and making sure our kids can just be kids.” 

This has been especially helpful, they say, in navigating the fine line between trust building and the need to provide structure for their kids to thrive. It can be challenging to provide discipline for children with complex histories, so leaning on The Buckeye Ranch Foster Care team and their training on trauma-informed care parenting approaches has helped navigate those circumstances. 

In addition to the support of our dedicated foster care team, The Buckeye Ranch also provides all foster families with an ample number of resources and benefits like transportation assistance, reimbursements for many costs like clothing, extracurricular activities, and holiday assistance, in addition to continued training opportunities, family events and more. 

growing their family

With support from The Buckeye Ranch’s Foster Care team, Ines and Richard have been fortunate enough to expand their diverse family through the adoption of two of their foster children, Adam and Eddie. The couple share that The Buckeye Ranch has been with the family through every step of the adoption process, helping navigate the court systems, biological family relationships, and mental and behavioral health challenges.  

Today, they continue to work with The Buckeye Ranch’s Foster Care team to navigate the process of adopting their third child from foster care, 16-year-old Keily.  

For Ines and Richard, becoming foster parents and knowing they can support their three children has changed their lives. “It’s about teaching what safe relationships look like, sometimes for the first time,” reflects Richard. For them, one of the most rewarding aspects of fostering is the opportunity to model healthy relationships to their children – to be a positive example and safe support system their kids know they can always lean on.  

words of advice

They share that they’ve learned just as much, if not more, from the youth that they have fostered than the youth have learned from them. The biggest lesson? “Patience and understanding the things that really matter. We learned to let the little things roll off our backs, focus on the love that really matters, and to just support the kids,” shares Ines. Having the opportunity to build their family and include their kids in family celebrations, and even the family seafood business, has been the joy of their lives. Most recently, they celebrated Keily’s Quinceañera together. 

When asked what advice they would give parents considering fostering, Ines and Richard share, “Do it. The kids are just kids; they need someone to love them, and they’ve just had some adverse challenges. Your loving home can change their life and yours. When there’s love, behaviors can drastically improve. You’re stronger than you think you are, and you can be a safe place for these kids.” 

We need loving, nurturing, and flexible families who will help these children during their time of need. If you are interested in providing a life-changing impact for youth in our community today, you can learn more about becoming a foster parent on on our website . We have training available at regular intervals throughout the year, you can view our current training calendar and register here

“You’re sronger than you think you are, and you can be a safe place for these kids.”

Richard
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