Since becoming foster parents with DePaul in December 2015, Jeremy and Angel Yuvanavattana’s family has more than doubled in size. With two young biological daughters, Jeremy and Angel first decided to foster in hopes of adopting a son into their family. Friends and relatives recommended DePaul to them, and soon their journey to become foster parents began. On the same day they were approved to foster with DePaul, they received their first placement: a 17-year-old girl named Cierra.
“Going through the process of DePaul’s pre-service training, we learned so much,” Jeremy said. “We opened ourselves up a lot more to the possibilities.” The Yuvanavattanas lovingly welcomed Cierra into their home and the following month, 10-year-old Natasha was placed with them. In 2016, Jeremy and Angel adopted Cierra—a process that proved to be somewhat daunting as she was about to turn 18. “We had no idea what to expect and had tons of questions, plus there was a time crunch,” Jeremy explained. “We got amazing support from DePaul and others on our team which helped streamline the process, so it was pretty smooth sailing.”
In late 2016, 9-year-old Ryan—the son Jeremy and Angel had wished for—was placed in their home. The next year, they permanently welcomed him as well as their foster daughter, Natasha, into their family through adoption. “Our adoption specialist, Cindy Davis, was an outstanding resource and friend to us,” Jeremy said. “If not for Cindy, I don’t think our family would be what it is today.”
Jeremy and Angel continue to provide foster care to two children in addition to short-term care for many others. “Jeremy and Angel are very nurturing, positive foster parents,” said DePaul Foster Care Specialist Kayla Johnson. “They include all the children equally in everything that they do, whether they are with them short term or long term.” The Yuvanavattanas volunteer around their community and with their local schools, where Jeremy is a part of the executive board for the Floyd Elementary School PTO. The family enjoys traveling, especially along the Eastern seaboard, attending all the kids’ many sporting events, and cooking together at home.
“For me, the biggest reward of foster parenting is two-sided,” Jeremy said. “It’s seeing the impact we’ve had and dramatic changes in the lives of our kids, but also recognizing the impact our kids have made on us in making us better parents. We come together and support each other—we are a family.”
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