Expressions Winter 2022

The Power of Family Story by Alison Wickline-Burns | Photos by Eichner Studios

DePaul foster parents Andrea and Matt Zimmerman understand the strength of stability, support, and connection for children in foster care. “It’s about adding more support and love into their life, rather than trying to replace anything,” said Andrea. This summer, Andrea and Matt opened their home to siblings, an 8-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy. It was a foster to-adopt placement, meaning if nothing were to change, then the Zimmermans’ home would become the children’s forever home. They felt called to make that commitment, and the journey began. So far, the journey has been a learning process for everyone. The children have learned to communicate more clearly, as have Andrea and Matt. The children have also learned that it’s okay to openly feel their emotions, and they are working on learning to better regulate their emotions, too. “We’ve made a lot of progress, but we still have room to go,” said Matt.

Andrea and Matt have also worked hard to maintain connections with the children’s biological family and friends. Through phone calls, video chats, and visits, they have provided them with the opportunity to keep important relationships and have a wider network of support. “It’s their family, and I think that’s what we’re supposed to do as long as it’s safe and healthy for them,” said Matt. “Everything they knew completely changed, so we wanted to give them some stability and connection to people they knew. We hope they see that the love didn’t stop once they got here,” said Andrea. Together, this new family of four is navigating new connections, challenges, and learning experiences. Every day is a new adventure— not always easy, but always worth it. When you donate to DePaul, you ensure that children in need have a safe,

supportive, stable, and loving home where they can dream and grow.

Volume XX • Number 2 • Winter 2022


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