My name is Christine Grooms and I was previously employed with the Department of Family and Children Services in Georgia. I wanted to become a foster parent after I encountered the amazing foster parents I worked with. I searched and began training with a child placing agency. Unfortunately this agency was not a good fit for me. I heard about Ray of Hope after my church presented an opportunity to come for a Ray of Hope informational meeting. After the meeting I was all in. I attended the impact training and waited for my home to be approved as a foster resource. Once it was approved, I did respite to get my feet wet. On August 8, 2016 I received a call from Dr. Pamela Todd asking me if I wanted to accept placement of a 10-year-old African American girl. I said no because at that time I only wanted children under 5. After listening to Dr. Todd tell me about her situation, I agreed to accept placement for Faith.
My life has never been the same in the best possible way. Faith is kind, sweet, giving, smart, and athletic. We have grown together as we navigated the foster to adoption process together. We faced multiple case manager changes and numerous delays, but we never gave up hope that she was my forever daughter. I told her constantly that she was the daughter I chose to love. Dr. Pamela Todd, Dr. Curtis Todd, and Mrs. Rashawnda Williams walked with us through the entire process. We were extremely blessed to have people on our side who kept us encouraged through the 3 years it took for the adoption to be completed on September 12, 2019. We will be forever grateful to the Ray of Hope team!
My name is Tonia Gaskin and I have a Letter of Hope. I was 38 years old the first time I became a Mom. I had been married for 12 years to my loving husband Daniel, together 20+ yrs. We tried everything to get pregnant. From try the all-natural way to trying old remedies from back in the day. We even visited the Fertility Clinic to see if we can be successful in conceiving. A few months after we receive the news about not being able to conceive, I decided to go out on my own a sign up to be a foster parent. After finally getting my husband on board, signing up for the class to be Foster Parents, completing the program successfully, we were denied through this agency because of some challenges I had to face when I was a child.
A year or so after the denial I met Mrs. Dr. Todd...lol (that's what I call her). I was at my wits end and I had finally given up on being a parent. Dr. P. Todd walked in my job when I asked what brings her in that day. She showed me her documents and I asked what type of business was Ray of Hope? She begin to explain and asked if I was interested in being a Foster Parent. I initially told her NO. She was in total shock at my story and invited me to visit her office later that day. I agreed but changed my mind. She didn’t give up. She followed up with me numerous of times and wouldn't take No for an answer. She even took the time and looked up my case from the previous agency and did a little research to see how she could help. I finally gave in and met with her and filled out the paperwork to sign up for IMPACT training.
We became certified foster parents with Ray of Hope and they even got our parents on board and approved because they were going to be our childcare while we were at work. Within 3 days after our home was approved, we received our first placement.
I received a call from DFCS asking me to take in a 3 day old baby girl. When I spoke with my husband he wanted to take the placement; however I was reluctant. After speaking with DFCS, I called The Todd's and the child was placed in our home. The birth mother asked us on the first day of court to keep her baby girl, she signed her rights over to us in under a year and now we have a 3 year old baby girl we call our on.
Thank you so much Dr. C & Dr. P Todd! Hopefully this is a Ray of Hope for someone that hears our story.
Tonia and Daniel Gaskin