LAKE MARY, Fla. - A Central Florida couple is opening their hearts and home to foster children. But what started out as fostering is now turning into adoption.
It was something Jordan Grier never even thought about until his wife, Amy, brought it up.
"When she initially came to me with this idea of fostering, it was definitely a shock and something that wasn't easy for me to say yes to," he explained.
But in 2015, he did say yes, and they had no idea how the decision to become foster parents would change their lives forever.
"They came in the middle of the night, and they were so small and they are awesome," said Amy about twins Winnie and Jordan Jr.
They arrived as foster children at only 9 months old. A year-and-a-half later, the Griers adopted them.
Even with the adopted twins and two biological daughters, the Griers keep their doors open for other kids who are in need of a loving home. Over the past five-and-a-half years, they have had at least 17 foster children stay with them.
"Our house was busy, lots of appointments, a lot of fun, and a lot of firsts. We got to see first happy Christmas, first happy birthday," said Amy.
Some children are here for just a few days or a few months before being reunited with their parents. Saying goodbye is never easy.
"Ultimately, if you don't do it, if no one does it, then these kids are never going to experience the love and care that they need," Jordan said. "And so, you get to hold on to all the good memories, and you get to have that long-lasting impact on their lives."
Ashley Dion is with Embrace Families, which oversees the foster care system in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties.
"Amy and Jordan are just incredible people for just opening up their home to the 17 plus children," she said. "We are just grateful and thankful!"
She said they need more families like the Griers.
"There is always a need, in particular, we are looking for families that will be open to children 10 and up." The Griers can not imagine what their lives would be like had they had not said yes to becoming foster parents.
"It is really something, that if you open yourself up to it, you'd be amazed at all of the amazing experiences you will miss out on if you don't do it," Jordan added.
Embrace Families is holding a holiday fundraiser to buy gifts for foster children and deliver holiday meals to foster families. For more information visit: https://embracefamilies.org/holidayrescue2020.