Forever Grateful: The Nickersons

“Fostering/adopting has been something that has been on both mine and Tony’s heart, since before we got married six years ago. Its just something we are called to do. Tony began mentoring Hosia in April 2018 as a way of impacting the life of a child in foster care, while he finished grad school. We knew the plan was to buy a house and settle down after he graduated, so mentoring seemed like the best way to way to make a difference in the meantime. I began accompanying Tony on his outings with Hosia in June 2018. I remember sitting in a McDonald’s restaurant early on in our relationship being blown away by his resiliency, openness, and humor. It was apparent early on that he really was a sweet kid with a big heart for other people. It broke my heart watching him bounce from group home to group, then foster home to foster home.

Around September or October 2018, God began to place in my heart the desire to foster Hosia. I mustered up the courage to tell Tony how I was feeling and he agreed that this is something he felt we should do. Unbeknownst to us, at this same time, Hosia had been placed in a pre-adoptive placement. Despite the confusion and initial sadness, we put our feelings aside and vowed to stay involved in Hosia’s life if his pre-adoptive mom was okay with it. We continued to take Hosia out once or twice a month and supported his pre-adoptive mom in any way we could.
In January 2019, Hosia and his pre-adoptive mom decided that they should not go through with the adoption and Hosia wound up in yet another foster home. At this time, I found myself praying for Hosia pretty much daily and with far more fervor than I had in the previous months.

As I prayed and tried to work out my own feelings of fear, uncertainty, and pain of not knowing where Hosia would rest his head at night, as each time he was moved it would often take us a week to find out where he landed, my love for him grew greater and greater each day. During a small group sharing time at church in early February, I was talking through all these feelings with a group of ladies and “accidentally” called Hosia my child. As I found myself trying to retract that statement, God spoke through one of the women in the group as she said, “No. You are right. He is your child. He is your son.” I didn’t know what to do with that at first. My husband and are are 25. Hosia is 15. How would that work? Would DHS even let us parent a child at that age difference. I was so afraid, but my love and fight for Hosia was so much stronger.

During Spring break of this year, Hosia got moved three to four times in one week. I couldn’t take it any more and luckily his caseworker at the time couldn’t either. She knew we had been trying to get Hosia placed with us for months and appealed to her area supervisor to get him placed with us, even though we were not an open foster home yet. Hosia moved in at the start of April as a fictive kinship placement and it’s as if he knew he was finally home. He embraced his life with us and claimed our dogs as his own. We have resolved ourselves to eating fried chicken at least four meals a week, since it is the only real food Hosia will eat. He calls us mom and dad and knows that we will stop at nothing to see him succeed and know that he is safe and loved. Hosia’s adoption was finalized on October 24 (which happens to be my birthday) and I could finally rest easy knowing that no one was going to take this sweet boy away from me and that I knew he finally had a safe place to lay his head where he can finally begin to heal from his past.

In closing, this last year and a has been a whirlwind of emotions, but I would not change it for the world. Only God could have created a family so beautiful and I am eternally grateful. My faith has grown exponentially throughout this process and my trust in him has never been stronger. I am so blessed that God chose me, irregardless of how young and unqualified I felt, to be Hosia’s mom. I love him as if I had given birth to him and known him his whole life. I am forever grateful for the family God has given me” -Haley