Serving as Foster Parents to Children with Special Needs for More Than 20 Years
The Coffies and the Hills are two extraordinary families that have been serving as foster parents to children with special needs for more than 20 years. For Dave and Bev Coffie, who have adopted nine children and fostered countless more, the house is always full of kids. “Nobody really matches anyway. No one can guess which ones are ours and which ones are the foster kids,” Bev explains.
Jim and Jill Hill joined NVFS’ foster care program as their four own children were growing up. They later decided to adopt four of the children that they fostered, all with unique challenges, as well as continue to be foster parents. Jill’s background in Special Education has made her particularly well prepared to take on so many children with special needs. Although challenging, the decision to be foster parents and to adopt was simple, as Jim explains: “You don’t focus on the differences…they are more alike than they are different. All children have needs.”
Through NVFS’ Special Foster Care program, the Hills and the Coffies have become close friends. Through their shared experience, they provide a wonderful support network for each other – and for parents and families that are new to the foster care program. In fact, because the families have been through nearly every imaginable circumstance, they have become a resource for NVFS foster parents facing challenges.
“I can truly say I love what I do. It’s kind of like a job. It’s our small role in their life – we all support each other,” says Bev.
“I can truly say I love what I do. It’s kind of like a job. It’s our small role in their life – we all support each other.”