Shannon Davis, a PRN Registered Nurse and Gina Davis, a Health Teacher, wanted to foster children more than anything in the world. They signed up with a foster care agency, but unfortunately, only one of them could be certified. Shannon and Gina were not married. The couple decided that Shannon would be the parent to undergo training. After the certification process, Shannon and Gina anxiously awaited a child to be placed in their home. And waited. When no child had been placed with them in nearly a year, they decided to transfer. They approached Necco of South Point Ohio with a simple question: “Will you place children in the home of an openly gay couple”? Not only did the team answer with a resounding “Yes!”, they were able to place a child in their home within a week of their transfer to Necco of South Point.
Shannon and Gina felt as if their professional backgrounds and experiences had finally led them to this point in their lives. They worked together as a family. They remained consistent for this child who needed their structure and love. And aside from this, being foster parents just seemed to “click” with them.
When the Supreme Court Ruling was handed down, making Shannon and Gina’s marriage legal, it was both joyful as well as stressful. The Ohio Revised Code for Foster Care requires that married couples must both be certified as foster parents. This meant that the Davis’ had but 90 days to complete training and the home study. The South Point team did not waste any time. The Davis’s were camping when this ruling went into effect. So the team drove to their camp site to complete one of many trainings with them. Over the course of the next several weeks, The South Point Team made certain that they received their training, even if it meant completing it in the evenings and on weekends. A legal technicality was not worth the risk of losing such a loving, solid family.
Numerous successful placements and three adoptions later, the Davis’ have found their niche. When asked what she did before fostering, Gina stated “I filled my time with not so purposeful things, like playing softball, to fill the void. I can’t imagine doing anything else now.” Shannon, now a stay-at-home mother, enjoys being able to see the growth in the children they foster. “I love seeing the growth of the kids and the parents as well. These are success stories. Even if that child won’t be with you a lifetime, you can see the seed you planted.”
Shannon reports that she finally feels complete in her life, in this role as a foster mother. “Fostering is my God-given purpose, my peacefulness after 33 years was getting to be a foster mother. I always felt out-of-sorts. Not being able to do this was frustrating. I had so much love to give. I am doing what God wants me to do. The children need me. I am not a perfect parent by any means, but, I comfort them and nurture them. I know that with my children with medical needs, it makes a huge difference to them because I am experienced in that area.”
When asked where they see themselves in 5 years, Shannon stated, “Still a foster parent. If there is something that needs to be done, I am uncomfortable until I achieve it. Before fostering, I had a hole in my life. Something was lacking. I thought of all the children sick and not having anyone to love on them and dote on them and cuddle them. I’m a nurse, so it is a huge source of satisfaction for me when I know I have made them comfortable, cared for them and made a difference.”
Shannon and Gina want everyone to experience the joy that fostering has brought to their lives. “Necco has played a huge role. The support from people we have been able to work with, I tell everyone about them. They are the hardest workers. Even If you have a problem and need to talk at ten in the night. They have always made us feel so accepted. They are compassionate and understanding. We are so, so very blessed with this agency.”