Strengthening Families Washington 2017 Unsung Heroes Kacey and Chris Bode
2017 Unsung Heroes Kacey and Chris Bode
Seattle's Child is proud to once again sponsor the Unsung Heroes being honored in February by the Department of Early Learning’s Strengthening Families Washington. Every day this month we'll present an Unsung Hero on seattleschild.com. Nominations are accepted from around the state and include biological parents, grandparents, foster and adoptive parents. Some volunteer at local schools; some have started nonprofit organizations; some mentor others in their communities. All honorees are true heroes - outstanding caregivers doing important work on behalf of children.
February 5, 2017
Honorees: Kacey & Chris Bode, Spokane Valley
Nominator: Rachel Migaki
Kacey and Chris are foster parents and had placement of a child on my caseload for the first 17 months of his life. They loved him, clothed him, worked with his parents to support them, took care of him and his many medical needs. They loved this child as their own. Not only were they so wonderful to this child, but their two biological children and one adopted son were amazing as well. Each time I went to their home, it was apparent that the family had bonded with this child.
Recently, this child went home to his biological parents unexpectedly. It was heart wrenching for the Bode family. Of course they were angry with the system and grief stricken at the thought of losing this child. In the face of that pain they reached out to the bio-parents, offering support, love, advice, whatever they needed. The two families had Christmas dinner together this year. Although they were hurting, they put that aside for what was more important: the child they loved.
By example, they are teaching their own children what it is to be resilient. Throughout the time I've known the Bodes, I've seen how strong their support system is, with friends, family, and foster parent support groups. They know how to access resources and are proactive in using them. Not only do they maintain a healthy support system of their own, they are helping the bio-parents of the child strengthen theirs by becoming part of it. They are sharing what they have so that the bio-parents have a better chance of success.
Kacey and Chris have been wonderful with caring for each of their children's needs. They have a school-aged son, a school-aged daughter who has Down Syndrome, an adopted son who has many sensory issues and developmental delays, and they cared for the child on my caseload who has developmental delays and medical issues. They are able to meet the changing and varied needs of each of their children on a daily basis. They support the children emotionally as well and have had discussions about the pain of saying goodbye to the youngest when he went back to his parents.
The Bodes are humble, they don't claim to know everything or to be exemplary parents. When they need help, they ask for it. When they are struggling, they admit it. And they have the support around them to help pick them up. In my opinion, these parents exemplify what it means to be an Unsung Hero. They possess all of the five protective factors. They would never ask for recognition of this, but they need to be recognized! They deserve this award!