For Tammie and Charles Cobb, adopting a child from foster care was about patience and trusting God.
The Cobbs became foster parents shortly after a chance interaction with another Arrow family more than 10 years ago. A man and his adoptive son had come into their business, and they got to talking about fostering-to-adopt. Before he left the store, he set Tammie up on a phone call with an Arrow Ambassador Family Specialist, and before they knew it, the Cobbs were training to be foster parents.
The Cobbs could not have children of their own, and intended to adopt. They fostered about 40 children over three years, waiting patiently for the child that would become theirs forever. Tammie said it was incredibly hard to say goodbye to so many children when they left her home to reunite with their birth families. She was just about at her emotional breaking point.
“I told my husband, ‘I can’t take it anymore,’ but we sat back and waited, and of course God’s timing is always perfect,” Tammie said.
It was shortly after that the Cobbs got a call to come pick up their soon to-be-daughter Haylea from the hospital.
“When I went to pick up that baby from the hospital, the doctors and nurses walked me down the hall, and I just had the biggest smile on my face,” Tammie said. “The Holy Spirit was with me. I thought ‘Oh my gosh, all my dreams are coming true!’ We had a feeling in us about what the Lord was about to do. It was the biggest blessing. “
Now, Haylea is an energetic 8 year old with many friends. She loves to ride her bike, go swimming, and she works hard at school. When Tammie first became a foster parent, she didn’t expect to adopt a child outside her own race, but she wouldn’t change anything about Haylea for the world.
“We came in with expectations of a brown-headed girl with blue eyes,” Tammie said. “I want families to open up their minds and their hearts to a different race, because we’re all God’s children, and we all need to know we belong somewhere, and more than anything, children need to know that they belong to God no matter where they are.”
While she’s glad she got to touch so many lives through fostering, Tammie is happy she was finally able to adopt one of her foster children. For parents worried about growing too attached to foster children who may eventually return to live with birth relatives, Tammie said to think first about the heartache foster children are enduring.
“Embrace what they’re going through,” Tammie said. “A lot of kids I had– some came to me broken and abused or burned, and you have to be a strong person mentally. I would say to (potential foster parents) to be prayerful and allow God to direct their path in the direction He wants them to go in.”
Learn more about fostering-to-adopt at www.arrow.org/foster