Diane Patrick has been surrounded by children her entire life. She helped to raise her nieces and nephews and always watched children at her local church. “When you love kids,” Ms. Patrick said, “you want to be involved and help them in any way you can.”
Hope, Healing and a Foster Home
Ms. Patrick’s journey as a foster parent began in 2007 when she was certified as a therapeutic foster parent with Family Services of Westchester (FSW). After learning about foster parenting from a cousin, she felt inspired to help children with special medical or behavioral needs.
William (8) and Tyrell (12) were placed with Ms. Patrick in 2017. She fell in love with them instantly. “To me,” said Ms. Patrick, “these boys felt like my sons as soon as they were placed with me.” She felt a connection to them and wanted them to feel protected and safe. Keeping the brothers together in a foster home provided them with an extra sense of security and stability.
Ms. Patrick was dedicated to supporting their therapeutic needs in partnership with FSW. “I told them I was not giving up on them when times were tough,” she stated. She had access to extensive support including respite care and 24 hour on-call services. The boys received individualized therapy to meet their personal needs. Diane was appreciative when FSW helped her navigate their school enrollment, academic issues and behavioral challenges.
Worthy of Love
When William and Tyrell became eligible for adoption, Ms. Patrick knew she wanted to give them a forever home. Witnessing her patience, dedication and commitment to the process was a gift for the boys. “William and Tyrell saw that I never gave up,” she said. It made a profound impact on the boys to see that Ms. Patrick never let them down and that they were worthy of love.
“Adoption day was the best day of my life,” shared Ms. Patrick. When the judge declared her sons as “adopted,” her heart was bursting with joy, love and pride. She recalls that the happy looks on her sons’ faces were priceless.
By opening her heart and home to two siblings, Ms. Patrick gave them a chance for a bright future. In their new forever home, there’s a light inside William and Tyrell that is shining brighter every day.
There are many children and teens in Westchester County who, for various reasons, are currently unable to live with their birth parents or family members. There are also many in need of a forever home. Learn more about therapeutic foster care at: www.fsw.org/tfc and adoption at www.fsw.org/adopt.