National Foster Care Month is a time to honor and celebrate the incredible individuals who open their hearts and homes to children in need. One such inspiring foster parent is Nacie, whose journey into fostering began with a touching interaction in a hospital.

Nacie’s decision to become a foster mom was sparked by an encounter with a patient she met while working in the surgical unit at a hospital. “I met a patient and his foster mom, and it inspired me. I thought it was so cool,” she recalls. This inspiration led Nacie and her husband Ed to start fostering in 2020, and since then, they have fostered 12 children.

Nacie and her family have had so many memorable moments with the kids in their care. One such moment was the kids’ first time on an airplane during a spring break trip to Texas. “The pilot allowed the kids to sit in the cockpit, and they thought it was the coolest thing in the world,” she shares.

Balancing their own family and fostering, Nacie and Ed have two biological children and are currently fostering two sisters. Their children have seamlessly integrated with the other kids, forming sibling-like bonds. “My girls go with the flow. They’ve never really disliked anybody. You’ll catch them playing together and then arguing like siblings,” Nacie explains.

For Nacie and Ed, fostering is about providing structure and a sense of normalcy. “I want to help kids that want to be helped. I want to make a change in these kids’ lives. I want these kids to know what normalcy is,” she emphasizes.

Nacie ensures her home is a safe haven for the kids she fosters. She gives them a grace period of 1-2 weeks to adjust to the new routine. She shares a story of a girl who stayed on the couch for three days without eating. Nacie took her shopping to get comfort foods and something she would like. “I always take them to the grocery store and let them pick out snacks and dinners,” she explains, highlighting her thoughtful approach.

Nacie believes in celebrating the kids’ achievements. “When they do really well in school, we go out and get milkshakes. And I don’t care what size they get because they deserve it,” she says. The kids under Nacie and Ed’s care have experienced trips to Disney and Texas, creating lifelong memories. “I’m all about experiences,” Nacie adds.

Through fostering, Nacie has gained insight into the challenging backgrounds many kids come from. “Things that you see in movies are really happening to these kids, and sometimes it goes unnoticed. And sometimes kids don’t speak up because it’s normal to them,” she reflects. This understanding fuels her commitment to making a difference.

Nacie teaches the kids to express frustrations through words, not aggression. She finds joy in witnessing their growth and change. “I enjoy doing it and making a difference in these kids’ lives and just giving them normalcy,” she shares. Her philosophy is simple yet profound: “I will love you if you let me love you.”

Even after the kids leave, Nacie and her family keep in touch. She introduces herself to the parents and ensures they know she remains a supportive contact. She’ll even babysit them on the weekends.

As we celebrate National Foster Care Month, stories like Nacie and Ed’s remind us of the profound impact foster parents have on children’s lives. Their dedication, love, and structured approach provide a shining example of what it means to be a remarkable foster parent.