by Cesca Janece Waterfield
On Sep. 8, United Methodist Family Services will begin a training program for people interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents. Called PRIDE, for “Parents Resource for Information, Development and Education,” it continues through Nov 3.
Nancy Toscano is Program Director for Richmond’s UMFS. “The reason we like PRIDE, one, we’re able to dual-certify parents,” she explains. “So even if they come in to be a foster parent, they’re also certified to be an adoptive parent. So [the parents] don’t have to go through a second process.”
Three area residents say PRIDE prepared them well, but that real-world parenting defied expectations: Ultimately, it’s been better.
Chesterfield resident Shanon Turner began working with UMFS in 2004 after seeing a news clip about adoption. She completed training and the adoption process, including the mandatory waiting period. She’s now mother to 11 year-old “Tonya,” a student at Manchester Middle School. [Note: Children’s real names cannot be used since in both cases, adoption is a few weeks shy of finalization.]