They knew the need for foster families was great. But Beth and Allan Cox thought that was a need other families could fulfill.
“We actually attended our first FaithBridge training in April 2013. When we left we said ‘No way. We will pray and financially support FaithBridge but it would be too difficult to do it’,” Beth Cox said.
But God began working on the Glynn County couple’s hearts.
“In the fall of 2013, we said yes and started our paperwork,” she said.
They had one placement and then, on May 4, 2014, 4-year-old Daisy was placed with them. At the time, they were told she would be reunified with her mother in less than two months.
Daisy’s biological mom was only 14 when she had her, and her biological dad was 15. Both had extensive family problems. Her mom had been in and out of foster care for most of her childhood, and her dad began using drugs when he was 12. They attempted to parent but couldn’t.
“I believe Daisy, from a very early age, was passed around between family members who took care of her needs, but she never really had a place of permanency. She was in a constant state of just being ‘watched’,” Beth said.
Daisy and her biological mom were living with the biological dad’s family but had a falling out. She and Daisy moved out and attempted to make it on their own, but weren’t able to.
“She left Daisy with friends and did not return for three days, at which time they called DFCS and reported her abandoned,” Beth said. “There was no one in her biological family who could or would take her to due to legal and drug issues.”
So Daisy was placed in foster care. She remained with a wonderful family for eight months, but they moved out of state and could not continue care
That’s when she was placed with the Cox’s.
“We fell in love with Daisy immediately,” Beth said. “We did have an element of fear just because you never know what this new little person will do to the dynamics of your family, what issues they bring with them, or how the relationship with everyone involved in their case will impact your day-to-day life. But Daisy has brought a depth of joy to our home that is indescribable.”
For Allan and Daisy, the adjustment period was relatively short. It took longer for her and Beth to bond.
“She has a very big personality and likes to be right about everything,” Beth said. “Our other placement had been rather compliant so this new little girl who pushed back against me took some adjustment for both of us. The longer she lived with us, though, the more I realized that we were a lot alike and that was part of the struggle.”
It took almost two years for Daisy to realize she could just be a kid and not have to worry about adult things.
“Daisy did need a good deal of therapy, not because of any specific trauma, but she struggled a lot with abandonment issues. Having a really predictable, consistent schedule as well as the therapy really helped her become more secure,” Beth said. “As those issues resolved, her need to control everything also began to dissipate.”
By the time Daisy’s parents decided to surrender their parental rights, the Cox’s were certain they would adopt her if they could. And so they did.
“Daisy has brought a depth of joy to our home that is indescribable,” Beth said. “Every area of our lives has changed for the better!
“Our faith has become even deeper and stronger with this experience. Foster care definitely puts you in the place where you are fully relying on God. There are times in this ministry when you feel so out of control, and from a faith perspective that is powerful because you have no one else to plead your case to but God.”
Though Daisy’s biological mom only asked for photos of Daisy after she surrendered her rights, the Cox’s felt that keeping contact was important.
“At that time, Daisy was still having weekly visits with her biological mom and we felt it would be detrimental to cut off contact completely. As of today, Daisy sees her about every two months,” Beth said. “We typically meet at a restaurant or park and they visit with each other for an hour or so, while we are there. If there comes a time when the visits seem unhealthy or as if Daisy no longer wants to participate in them, we will reevaluate it.”
As they look back over their experience, one big concern the Cox’s had was how fostering would affect their extended family. They didn’t have biological children but they were concerned about their parents, nieces, nephews, etc.
“All around, foster care has been a great experience for ALL of us. There are no bigger advocates for kids in foster care than our families,” Beth said.
“In addition, one of the many blessings we’ve had is sharing with other people about our experience. There is such a need for competent, loving people to help these children who are in such need. Hopefully our story will inspire someone to overcome their fear and jump into foster care.”