When DePaul foster parents Kevin and Victoria Stewart opened their home to Isaiah, they made a commitment to care for him, to love him, and to be there for him as long as he needed them. Four years later, the adoption papers have been signed, the family has grown closer and stronger, and Isaiah is thriving.
“Treating him as our own from day one gave him a safe space and a sense of belonging,” said Kevin.
It took work from the whole family to get to this place. When Isaiah first came to the Stewarts, he was struggling in school, struggling with behavior issues, and struggling to process and understand what was happening in his life. He had been through different foster homes and different schools in a matter of months. He was just 5 years old.
“He had been through more in those early years than most of us go through in a lifetime,” said Victoria.
As Isaiah settled into his new home and began feeling safe and loved, he blossomed. His grades went up, he surpassed milestones, he even started playing sports after initially being afraid of the noise and crowds that accompany sporting events.
“He’s so full of joy and laughter,” said Victoria.
When Kevin and Victoria started their foster care journey, they had no way of knowing that Isaiah would become such an important part of their family and fit right in with their other children. They simply embraced the unknown, hoping they could help a child in need and meet a need in their own community.
“We weren’t looking for color, creed, nothing like that,” said Kevin. “The only thing we were looking for was a child to love.”
They also credit DePaul staff members and DePaul trainings with giving them the confidence to embrace the unknown.
“DePaul has been nothing short of a blessing to us,” said Kevin.
The Stewarts hope that others will feel the call in their hearts to become foster parents, to embrace the unknown, to make an immeasurable impact on the life of a child like Isaiah.