Foster Family Opens a New World of Opportunities for Youth
For 11-year-old Haley, life with her foster parents has been a whirlwind of firsts. From camping and cornhole to sports and straight A’s, a whole new world of opportunities opened up when she found her home with Lacey and Tara Kitner.
According to Lacey, she and Tara decided to become foster parents the day they were married in 2019. “We started the process through the county we live in, but they just never got back to us to finish,” she said.
After hearing “good things” about Adelphoi, the couple reached out and again started the process of fostering. While they initially stated that they preferred a baby, the opportunity to foster Haley arose and they welcomed her with open arms.
Haley was placed with the Kitners on June 11, 2021 and has been enjoying a life of adventure ever since.
“We went to New York, Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia,” said Lacey, noting that they visited a glass museum while in New York, the beach in Delaware, an aquarium and zoo in Maryland and visited Tara’s family in both Maryland and West Virginia.
Lacey explained that there were many things Haley never experienced until she joined the Kitner family such as camping, cornhole, fishing on a boat, water tubing, various amusement parks and even a cheese steak stromboli, which Lacey noted she was not a fan of.
Haley now has a room of her own that she can decorate to her liking, enjoys family game nights and is a straight A student at school.
“She never played a sport until she got with us,” continued Lacey. “She’s doing amazing in softball and has been playing for almost a year.
She started last year in Little League then made All-Stars and is now on a travel ball team. She is about to start basketball, too.”
In addition to excelling in both academics and athletics, Haley is also a member of chorus and the band, where she plays percussion and is taking guitar lessons.
For Lacey and Tara, one of the most rewarding things about fostering is giving a child the best life they can possibly give and they urge others who may be considering it to open their doors and hearts.
“It will definitely be hard some days,” said Lacey. “It will test your patience, your marriage and make you double think some things, but it will be worth it in the end. It is a commitment like everything else you do in life.”
As the Kitners hope to adopt Haley in the near future, Lacey encouraged other same-sex couples to pursue their dreams of fostering/adopting.
“You are going to have people say a lot of different things because you are a same-sex couple, but do not let that stop you. Sometimes that’s the best thing for a child, especially in our case.”
Lacey and Tara Kitner officially adopted Hayley on April 28, 2023.