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My husband and I felt called to be foster parents. My exact words were “I don’t want to adopt. I just want to be a safe place for the kids until their parents can get their lives together.” Well, now we know that some people just are not able to be parents. Alissa was our very first foster child. Over a five year span we had over 40. I can truly say it was the best time of my life.

Within a year Alissa’s bio mom surrendered her rights and we agreed to an “open” adoption at my discretion. She’s asked for very little contact over the years and I’m okay with that. She hasn’t proven to be a positive role model at all. At the adoption hearing the guardian ad litem spoke to the judge on our behalf saying “Alissa would have never survived if the Garber’s had not taken her.” You see, being born at 27 weeks she had heart and lung issues, her birth weight was 2.56 pounds, and they honestly did not think she would survive. But God had other plans. She has some issues, a very low IQ being one of them. She’s on an IEP and meeting new goals all the time. She is an amazing your girl now with such a sweet spirit and compassionate heart. We are truly blessed.

Alissa has older siblings (I gave birth to) Lucas who is married with a baby of his own now, and Stephanie who actually lives in Columbus and is a licensed Social Worker. She says her career choice is directly related to us adopting Alissa when Stephanie was only 12. She’s amazing at her job and in my opinion it’s because she experience the whole system at a very early age.

It’s been a great experience and I wouldn’t change it for the entire world. God has truly blessed our family and I am forever grateful!

God bless!

Pam Garber