“Statistics show in 2015 there were 480,000 foster children in the United States and 5,100 in Virginia,” explained Nita Lescher, Program Manager, Treatment Foster Care Program, Northern Virginia Family Service.
Northern Virginia Family Services, a non-profit that offers a variety of services, offers therapeutic foster homes.
“When they came to me, they were completely non-verbal. They were not potty trained. Their eyes completely wandered around, because they’d been in the dark. Their skin was a very strange color,” explained Brenda Jacoby, referring to her now-adopted then-foster children.
“He (Jacoby’s son Kesean) was an elopement risk. He would take off to run, because he had been in a single room pretty much his whole life,” said Jacoby.
Aliyah was just one-year old, and Kesean was three-years old when they entered Jacoby’s home.
“I say this about other foster children. They were pretty feral,” explained Jacoby. “They had a language between the two of them that nobody understood.”
Jacoby recalls how then three-year old Kesean had the survival instincts to sneak out of his room and rummage through the pantry in order to sneak boxes of food up to his sister’s crib in the middle of the night. The one-year old would then chew through the boxes to eat.
“That’s one of the reasons they needed to stay together. They need to be together, because that’s what they had was each other,” said Jacoby, becoming emotional.
Jacoby, a registered nurse, became a foster mother 30 years ago. Since then, she has had more 20 children call her house a home.
“I started because I was the mother of four children. If anything happened to me, it would be very difficult to find anybody that would take four children together, and I wanted to keep children together,” she explained.
“The federal regulations are that we try our best to keep children together, to put children back with their biological families, if that’s safe, if it ensures their well being and a good future for them,” explained Lescher.
A good future like Aliyah and Keseans’, who are both thriving, making friends at school and performing at grade-level schools.
“They’re amazing. They’re amazing,” said Jacoby. “I say that my forte here is to make these children tax-paying citizens, and these children will be able to have jobs.”
If you are over 25, financially stable and interested in becoming a foster parent, NVFS encourages you to reach out to them at (571) 748-2500.