Two weeks prior to Christmas in 2016, Candace Johndrow, longtime project manager at Family Service of Rhode Island and a newly licensed foster parent, received a call from the North American Family Institute asking her to take the now 16-year-old girl in for respite – just for a few weeks – because they did not want to see her without a home over the Christmas holiday.
“She came in very timid,” Candace said of Fer. “Very quiet. I was told that she wanted to be in a foster family, but one that spoke Spanish.”
Candace explained that despite the language barrier and the short notice, she agreed.
“At the end of the two weeks,” she said, “Fer was like ‘Can I stay?’ And I told her I would love to have her stay, and it was just a beautiful thing from then on out.”
The story, published in October, chronicles the journey of Fer Teresa Breto Johndrow as she comes to live with Candace Johndrow in what was to have been a temporary placement—but turned into a long-term stay that resulted in Candace adopting Fer in an online ceremony this past August.
NAFI RI marked the occasion with a Facebook post, and also announced the Cranston Herald story on Facebook in a post that began “We don’t mean to brag, but we’re gonna brag! Our NAFI RI foster parents are the best, and we just want to tell everyone!”
Candace is just one of our wonderful foster parents. We celebrate and honor some of our other foster families by featuring them and their stories on a special website page.
We hope their stories, and the heartwarming experience of Candace and Fer, will inspire others to join the ranks of NAFI Rhode Island foster families, which come in many forms.
Foster children placed with relatives make up one-quarter of all children in the foster care system, and you don’t have to be married to be a foster or adoptive parent. Single parent homes represent one-third of adoptions from foster care. NAFI RI is also proud to welcome LGBTQIA+ individuals and couples as foster parents.
Learn how you can help a child find a forever family by contacting Jessica Marcil, Chantal Jackson, or Kristine Bouthillier at (401) 921-8710, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.