On Valentine’s Day 2017, foster parents Jillian and Mike received a call from Robin, their Unity Care Foster Parent Advocate, asking them to take in 12-year-old Savannah for a few days as a “cooling off period” from her current placement. As Jillian stated, “From that moment, our lives changed forever.” Initially reluctant to take in a depressed and troubled preteen, the family adored Savannah from the start. Within three days, Savannah was calling Jillian mom and begging to stay.
The path was complicated as efforts were made to keep Savannah and her sister Sabrina together. The family, already fostering another child and with two of their own, was not initially able to commit to both girls. With Robin’s help and encouragement, Jillian and Mike decided to have visitations with Savannah and Sabrina. By the end of March, the girls were staying over every weekend. Then, at a foster parent training class on sex trafficking, Mike looked at Jillian wide-eyed and said, “Go get our girls!” Unity Care’s RASS team supported the family from the girls’ initial placement through the adoption process. Six months and one day after Savannah was initially placed in their home, the family signed adoption papers, and a few weeks later they became an “official family of 6!”