fbpx

From “Foster Family” to “Forever Family” – The Behms’ Story

From “Foster Family” to “Forever Family” – The Behms’ Story

Like many families who choose to foster, Clint and Brittany Behm always had a love for caring for children. The couple has been active in their church’s student ministry for the last nine years, and more recently, they also began supporting a foster care ministry by preparing meals and babysitting for families who open their homes to foster.


Giving Tuesday is one week away! Help Wellroot #GiveHome to more children like Allison and Eli. Get an early start and make your donation go twice as far by giving now to help Wellroot meet a $20,000 match! Every dollar donated is doubled up to $20,000!

>> GIVE NOW <<


Through this experience, the Behms developed a deeper love and heart for children in the foster care system. “We had a desire to step up and do a little more,” Brittany said.

 

As residents of Decatur, the Behms began researching agencies in the Atlanta area and discovered Wellroot Family Services through online search. Brittany said she was “impressed” after her initial phone interview, but the Behms were still unsure of their readiness to foster.

 

“We thought we would foster; maybe adopt,” Clint said. “We weren’t in a big hurry.”

 

The couple was ready to start a family, but like so many young couples today, the process wasn’t as smooth as anticipated. Through this, God quickly molded Clint and Brittany’s hearts toward fostering, and they dove into the foster parent approval process. After attending an info session and completing IMPACT training, Clint and Brittany became approved to foster in November 2017, exactly two years ago this month.

 

“There was no use waiting,” Brittany said. “Wellroot was really great in facilitating all of the different approval steps and helped us work on a quick timeline.”

 

Once their home was approved, Clint and Brittany began to wonder—when will we welcome a little one? Will we receive a placement around Thanksgiving? Christmas?

 

It wasn’t until early January 2018 that the couple got the call from Wellroot Foster Care Supervisor Erica Kaufman and learned that 5-year-old Allison would be joining them a few days later.

“We had a nursery and a crib,” Brittany laughed, remembering how she and Clint were prepared for a newborn or infant placement, although their preferred age extended to five years old. 

 

When Allison arrived, the couple spent some time bonding with her before she started school. Allison was a sweet, bubbly little girl, but she had emotional challenges due to the neglect and instability she’d experienced in her young life. Brittany and Clint devoted themselves to being the support she needed so she could  get back to being a fun-loving, carefree five year old.

 

“The first few months were challenging,” Clint said. “We had to learn how to provide the structure, stability and compassion that Allison needed and hadn’t always received before.”

 

Early into Allison’s placement, Erica let Brittany and Clint know that Allison had a baby brother named Eli. At the time, Eli had medical needs that led to his placement with a foster mother who was also a nurse. As he grew healthier, however, it was our goal at Wellroot for Eli and Allison to be reunited.

 

“We thought we only wanted one placement,” Brittany said. “But, you have to have open hands and open arms.”

 

Brittany and Clint began planning monthly visits for 5-year-old Allison and 6-month-old Eli.

 

“You could tell they were siblings from the beginning,” Brittany said. “Allison thrived in her role as a big sister, and we could really tell that she was growing emotionally through her relationship with Eli.”

 

The two siblings were officially reunited in August 2018 when the Behms took on Eli’s placement and welcomed him into their home.

 

Wellroot-Behm-Family-Feature

Photo: Morgan Corbett Photography

 

Throughout this process of fostering Allison and Eli, their biological family was never in the picture. Although it’s unusual in a foster care situation, adoption, rather than reunification, was the ultimate goal for Allison and Eli.

 

“We were going to be a family no matter what,” Clint said, when asked what it was like to transition from fostering into the adoption process.

 

Just as they eagerly and passionately dove into the foster parent approval process, Clint and Brittany gave their all to Allison and Eli’s adoption—asking the right questions, staying on top of dates, staying connected with Wellroot and providing support for the children through it all.

 

“Our case manager Sidrah Kahn was a wonderful support to us throughout the process. It was our first placement and hers!” Brittany said. “Erica and Denise Peacock, the Foster Home Recruitment Manager, were both very helpful in making sure that everything was squared away for the adoption. I’m really not sure how people go through this process without a child placement agency like Wellroot.”

 

“There’s a lot of asking ‘why’ in the process, but you learn that you can only handle what is in your control,” Clint said. “You’ve just got to be a family. Sometimes it’s a waiting game, but while you wait, you’ve got to love the kids and make the most of every day.”

 

On August 23, 2019, Clint and Brittany packed their family into their car and made the long drive to the courthouse. The couple laugh when they remember what a crazy morning it was, just like any morning that involves getting kids dressed and ready for a special occasion.

 

Two-year-old Eli was running around the courtroom while Brittany and Allison stood smiling in their matching dresses. The Behms recall the joy in the room, the kind, amazing judge and the feeling of relief that what they’d been anticipating for so long was finally official.

 

“We wanted to make this day special,” said Brittany. “Even though we’d been family for a year and a half, it was a big moment. We call it our ‘Forever Family’ day.”

 

 

“It was a big relief,” Clint said. “Until it’s final, you never know what can happen, but we’re so grateful that it turned out how it did.”

 

Extended family and friends were waiting for the four Behms when they returned from the courthouse on that day in August. 

 

“Allison and Eli didn’t lose a biological family, but instead, they gained the amazing family that Brittany and I had around us,” Clint said.

 

Clint and Brittany always had a heart for kids, but they never imagined how perfectly God would use their fostering journey to bring hope and joy to two children who needed it. The Behms’ open hands led to full hearts, a full home and a Forever Family.

 

Wellroot-Behm-Family

Photo: Morgan Corbett Photography

 

“It’s going to be challenging, but stepping out of your comfort zone and into the lives of kids, who didn’t ask for their circumstances but need your help, is one of the most selfless things a human can do,” Brittany said. “You will mess up, but there’s always another day. Find grace in that.”

 

“Stay educated and be an advocate for the kids in your care,” Clint said. “But at the same time, let go of what you can’t control. Focus on being the best you can be for the kids who need you, and the rest will fall into place.”


Giving Tuesday is one week away! Help Wellroot #GiveHome to more children like Allison and Eli. Get an early start and make your donation go twice as far by giving now to help Wellroot meet a $20,000 match! Every dollar donated is doubled up to $20,000!

>> GIVE NOW <<


Are you interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent? Visit fosternow.org today!

shares