Arrow foster parents Danny and Brenda Nail were recently recognized for going the extra mile for their foster child—or more accurately, the extra 600 miles.
The Nails were named Foster Parents of the Year by the Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services. They have fostered a 9-year-old boy with special needs since he was a baby.
Last year, the boy needed multiple organ transplants, but there wasn’t a doctor in Texas who could perform the surgery. The nearest doctor who could treat him was more than 600 miles away in Omaha, Nebraska.
The Nails didn’t hesitate. When donor organs became available, they immediately packed their bags and moved to Nebraska. They lived there for about nine months while their foster child recovered before moving back to their home near Dallas.
Since then, they’ve been back to Nebraska for weeks at a time for follow-up appointments.
But Brenda said she doesn’t mind. Yes, she’s missed family holidays and time with her grandchildren, but seeing her foster child regain his health has been worth it.
“It’s been hard, but we’ve seen him blossom,” Brenda said. “I don’t know what we’d do if we didn’t have him. He keeps us going. He’s such a blessing to watch him. He amazes us.”
The boy currently in their care isn’t the first child Brenda and Danny have helped. They have been foster parents for 32 years, and have fostered 88 children.
Brenda described being a foster parent as a rewarding experience.
“The children didn’t ask for all of this to happen to them,” Brenda said. “Some have come into our house so sad, but it’s amazing to see their personality change when you love and protect them.”
Brenda and Danny will be honored at the upcoming Texas Child Care Administrators Conference Oct. 23. They won’t be able to make the conference because they are back in Nebraska for their foster sons’ doctor’s appointment, but Carolyn Bishop, vice president of Texas programs, will accept the award on their behalf.
“To say they are deserving really doesn’t even do it justice,” Carolyn said.