Meet Denise and Mark and their family

“MeeMaw” Denise and Mark are longtime foster care parents in Clermont County. Let’s learn more about them.

Tell us a little bit about your family?
We have been Clermont County foster parents for 29 years, caring for medically fragile and drug- affected newborns and infants. Life at our house is always busy and interesting. We have two children and four grandchildren. Living on a farm is the perfect place to raise a family, play with our grandchildren, foster our sweet babies and entertain.

What made your family decide to become a Clermont County Foster Home?
Foster care has always been a passion of our family. When our children were still in high school, caring for children was a family ministry. Now that our children are grown and have kids of their own, their children are learning about the importance of foster care.

Tell us a little bit about your journey with placements.

We’ve had many placements in the years we have been fostering. God has never called us to adopt, but rather to adapt to certain situations over the years to help the children we have had as placements achieve the best possible outcome during their time in care. Some go home, some go to a kinship placement, many get adopted. Each set of circumstances was different. Each left a permanent place in our hearts.

What advice would you give to new families becoming certified to foster/adopt?
Children placed in your home have an uncanny way of stealing your heart, whether they are there for only a few days or for many months! Especially if you are foster to adopt, you must remember that reunification is always the initial goal. For however long you have a child in your home, you have made a difference in their lives forever.

We’ve told many families who have desired to adopt a placement, ‘these children aren’t yours until the judge says so’!

What is something you wish you had known prior to deciding to become a foster home?

Be certain you have really thought about what age group, sex, and type of challenges you are willing and able to have in your home. Every child coming into care needs and deserves a loving foster home, but it doesn’t mean your home is the right home for every child who needs a foster home.

What advice do you have for families who decide to foster who already have children of their own?

Fostering affects the entire family. It is important to be sure your own children are on board with fostering. As noble a goal as fostering is, it is not for every family.  Be certain your children are willing and wanting to share you!