When Bertha and Mark Hoover first contacted DePaul to become foster parents, they could not have anticipated how much their family, their home, and their hearts would expand as a result.
One of their first placements was a little boy they fell in love with and a year later, they adopted him into their family. When another young man entered their home, they fostered him for six months before adopting him as well.
After raising both boys into adulthood, Bertha and Mark returned to DePaul to foster yet again.
“DePaul has some of the best workers,” Bertha said. “They have always been there any time that I needed them. When we came back to DePaul to foster again, we knew things had not changed.”
In 2012, DePaul staff presented the Hoovers with their greatest challenge yet: fostering a sibling group of five boys, ranging from age 1 to 11.
In addition to the obvious challenges of caring for five boys, the Hoovers faced many ups and downs, but their commitment to keeping the family together endured. In June 2015, the Hoovers welcomed the children into their family permanently when the adoptions of all five boys were finalized.
“I’ve been asked, ‘How do you do this?’ And I say that it takes a lot of time and you don’t put yourself first,” Bertha said. “But I have a lot of fun with the children and take them everywhere. … They have done so well, both mentally and physically. It’s wonderful to watch them grow.”