Have Faith and Hear the Call: A Foster Parent's Story | Anna's House Foundation




Have Faith and Hear the Call: A Foster Parent's Story


"My grandfather was a Pentecostal preacher and my grandmother was his life helper. They were houseparents in an orphanage in Wewoka when I was little, and they also had a foster child, Herman, when my dad was in college. Herman needed a place to live when his parents couldn't take care of him, so my grandparents took him in and became his family.

So, foster care wasn't new to me. When we moved to OKC in 2004, I met a fantastic family, the Phillips. I watched them begin their foster care journey. The Lord began to move in me, letting me know this is something he was calling us to do. Now, my husband did not feel called, yet. He wanted to complete our biological family first, so we did. I put foster care in the back of my mind for later in life when we were ready to embark on the journey.

I looked at Scott and told him that if they could do it, we could do it. I signed us up for class and told him we were going. He was not happy but went anyway. We did all the paperwork but I honestly didn't think we would really do it. When we got the phone call that we were approved and there was a newborn who needed us, he told me "ok".  It wasn't until he held this little one, rocking her and showing her that she could trust us, that he really got it. 

When Jaxson, our youngest, was about four, I began to think about foster care again, but it wasn't the right time. Through some life changes, the Lord provided a way for me to get my master's degree through a scholarship. I changed jobs after finishing my degree, and there I met Jennifer. Jennifer was a single lady who had a foster daughter. A couple of months later, some good friends of ours, the Kalmakovs, began to foster. At the time, AJ was 8 months pregnant with baby number 4. I looked at Scott and told him that if they could do it, we could do it. I signed us up for class and told him we were going. He was not happy but went anyway. We did all the paperwork but I honestly didn't think we would really do it. When we got the phone call that we were approved and there was a newborn who needed us, he told me "ok". It wasn't until he held this little one, rocking her and showing her that she could trust us, that he really got it. Since then, we've had 8 different children in our home. Some for just a couple of weeks and others for a couple of months. We've had one get to go home to his mom while the others have gone to another foster or adoptive home so they could be with siblings.

It was so hard but Shelby and Jenna were there every  step  of the way, providing insight, wisdom, and talking to DHS when we felt like we weren't being heard. They valiantly fought for what was right, even when it was hard. I definitely couldn't have made it through all of that without them. We probably wouldn't have continued our foster care journey after that experience if they wouldn't have been there with us.

We chose Anna's House because we had heard many good things about them from Jennifer and AJ. It also helped that Tracy knew Angela and had wonderful things to say about her. Angela and Jenna were there for us for our first placement. Shelby came into our lives towards the end of that placement. That particular child had a weird and difficult case and she ended up being placed with a family member. It was so hard but Shelby and Jenna were there every step of the way, providing insight, wisdom, and talking to DHS when we felt like we weren't being heard. They valiantly fought for what was right, even when it was hard. I definitely couldn't have made it through all of that without them. We probably wouldn't have continued our foster care journey after that experience if they wouldn't have been there with us.

We were so distraught when they moved the newborn. She was so special and we had been told we were in line to adopt when they terminated the parents' rights. When we found out about the family members who wanted to adopt, we were crushed. When I took baby girl to meet them, it was the hardest thing I have ever done. As we talked about if they were going to change her name, the Lord answered my prayers for peace and that it was his will for her to live with them. We were sitting at a table in Panera and the mom told me that they were going to name her Scottie, after her dad. She received a phone call so I continued to talk with the dad. He said that her middle name would be Jane, after his grandmother. I couldn't control my tears. The Lord had answered my prayers. My husband's name is Scott and my middle name is Jane.

The Lord has continued to answer prayers and provide for our family through this journey. It isn't always easy but it is definitely worth it."

— Sandy Teel