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Desire to Give Back Brings Foster Mom, Siblings Together as Forever Family

Patricia’s decision to become a Boys Town Texas Foster Parent eventually led to a loving, permanent home for Celeste and Vincent

Patricia had a yearning for a ​change in her life’s work and purpose. She wanted to give back by becoming a Foster Parent.

A widower and registered nurse, Patricia had no children living at home. Her daughter was an adult who was doing well and living on her own. A second daughter had passed away due to medical problems.

During an informational meeting about foster care at the local Child Protective Service (CPS) offices, Patricia learned about Boys Town Texas, its Foster Family Services program and the need for Foster Parents.

Patricia contacted Boys Town Texas and made the life-altering decision to go through the process of becoming a Foster Parent. She was both anxious and excited about the possibility of welcoming children into her home.

It wasn’t long before she had the unique opportunity to help two siblings.

Celeste, 8, and Vincent, 6, had been removed from their father’s home by CPS following his arrest. The father had no CPS history, but once CPS investigated the home, they discovered he had drug abuse problems. There also had been neglect and physical abuse involving both children.

The kids’ mother had been out of their lives for years and there were no other relatives who could take them in. Through Boys Town’s Foster Family Services® program, they were immediately placed in Patricia’s home.

When the children first arrived, both seemed to adjust well to their new surroundings.

“Celeste and Patricia seemed to get along very well at the start,” said Patricia Potts, a Consultant with Boys Town Foster Family Services. “Celeste was a girlie-girl who enjoyed fashion, pretty things and bedazzled items. This was right up Patricia’s alley. At the beginning, there were hardly any behavioral issues.”

After time went on, however, the “honeymoon” period came to an end and Celeste began acting out with defiant and angry behaviors.

“Celeste had a lot of anger toward her father,” Potts said. “And she would take it out on Patricia.”

Patricia remained patient and depended on Potts and Boys Town for support and guidance. Potts was a good sounding board and gave Patricia helpful strategies for dealing with and changing Celeste’s negative behaviors.

“Patricia was very eager to work the Boys Town Model ®,” Potts said. “Once she started seeing it work with Celeste, Patricia became more consistent and confident with teaching skills and using the teaching process.”

Celeste also was prescribed medication for mental health concerns and she responded well.

It took time, patience and hard work from Patricia but Celeste finally began to settle in.

Vincent’s adjustment period mirrored that of his sister. He bonded well with Patricia at first, but still had severe behavior problems.

“Vincent was very destructive, defiant and had explosive behavior,” Potts said. “After working with a psychiatrist, he was also placed on medication. It really helped him to keep his stress level down both at home and in school and he was able to communicate better.”

When Patricia took Vincent to the doctor, a health exam revealed he had vision problems along with hearing loss.

“These health issues had a negative effect on his behaviors at home and in school.” Potts said. “Once they were addressed, he began responding better.”

Over the next year, both children grew happier and healthier as they thrived in their new home.

“There was still some underlying anxiety and anger issues with their father, but ongoing therapy has helped them to deal with those issues in healthier ways,” Potts said.

A year and a half after Celeste and Vincent began living with Patricia, their mother relinquished her parental rights and their father’s parental rights were terminated.

Patricia knew she was ready to ensure that Celeste and Vincent had the stable, loving and permanent home they needed and wanted. She adopted both children and they officially became part of their forever family.

“Patricia is a very special person,” Potts said. “She’s a giving, loving person who truly cares for others. She demonstrated that in her previous profession of nursing and it has carried over into her love of children in foster care. She didn’t hesitate to open her home and heart to Celeste and Vincent, who were in dire need of a home. Now they have a real chance to grow and thrive.”