New home offers shelter, hope for foster children
Foster siblings living in northcentral Oklahoma have a better chance of being placed together thanks to a spacious new home built by Circle of Care.
The Vera Mae Home in Alva held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 12. More than 40 people were in attendance, including donors, community members, clergy and laity from Alva-First, local news media, as well as representatives from Circle of Care, the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation, and the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Pastor Carol Cook Moore of Alva-First opened the ceremony, thanking all involved for helping to fund and build the first of eight Legacy of Care homes in Oklahoma.
“It’s a great blessing; there’s a huge need,” said Alycen Yoder, organist at Alva-First. “So far, they’ve never been able to put more than two children together in a home in Alva, and now, they can take up to four. There are lots of families that can keep children together as a family.”
The 2,700 sq. ft. home has four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, a home office, a study area, a children’s play area, dining room table for eight, laundry room, fenced in back yard, a generator and a safe room in the two-car garage.
The home’s open layout has a rustic country feel that was designed by Hannah Sutter, an interior designer based in Oklahoma City. Sutter, who herself is a foster parent, encourages others to open their homes to foster children.
“There’s a lot of what-ifs in how (fostering) would change your family dynamic, and if it would be a hard thing,” Sutter said. “It’s worth it to be a part of that child’s life, to be a safe place to live. It’s a hard process, but it’s so worth it.”
Yoder, who has supported Circle of Care financially for 20 years, believes helping siblings stay together in foster care can help them feel like somebody cares about them.
“I love it,” Yoder said of the new home. “I think they’ll be willing to stay forever.”