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Lufkin foster family finds joy and support through virtual certification

Buckner supports families through the process in a still-new virtual world

Stephanie and Jerrod Hudspeth always dreamed of a big family but after having their first daughter, they were unsuccessful in conceiving. 

After considering options, they decided that opening their home to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children in their community was the next step to take in growing their family. 

Next step in growing their family was foster care certification

The Hudspeth family completed many trainings prior to the pandemic, but when the world was put on pause due to COVID-19, so were their trainings. 

With or without a pandemic, children are constantly entering the state’s custody. Buckner created an opportunity to become certified foster parents virtually.

Stephanie and Jerrod felt like it was time to finish their training and serve the vulnerable children in the Lufkin community, and joined the virtual certification program. 

Having the training online allowed the couple to complete the course work with more flexibility. 

“Before COVID-19, we had a difficult time scheduling classes, trainings and home visits around Jerrod’s busy, changing schedule, so being able to have some flexibility with that near the end of the process was very helpful,” Stephanie said. “Being able to complete the program virtually has made things much more accessible for us as a family, and we look forward to the meetings.” 

Learning how to be a foster parent can be stressful, but Stephanie and Jerrod felt supported by the Buckner team around them. 

The support was felt, despite being virtual

“We are able to contact anyone at Buckner at any time, and they are always quick and eager to respond,” said Stephanie. “Our case manager made our virtual walkthroughs as comfortable as possible, and we look forward to our chats with her each month. They truly are there to help answer every question, no matter the time of day, to help make sure me and my family are as comfortable and prepared as possible.”

Currently, the Hudspeths are fostering a young boy who has captured their hearts and become a part of their family. Though the journey can be long and difficult at times, she is thankful for what God has given them. 

“We are so thankful and blessed that God led us down this road to this time with our family,” said Stephanie.

Learn how you can open your heart and home to a child in need.

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