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Teen Finds His Passion While in Foster Care

If you are considering being a foster parent, you will love this story! A feel-good account of one young man's journey to find his passion. His foster parents encouraged and supported him to try new things and work hard. Every season was a new adventure. They had yet to learn how hard he would work and where it would lead. Nick proves that teens in foster care can heal, grow, and reach their goals!

Teens in foster care must be encouraged to explore activities.

Nick came to our family with his brother in February 2017 as a shy, timid boy. It seemed like he was always waiting for something bad to happen because that was his past; that's what he knew. It took him six months to look people in the eye when talking. When he got used to school, he asked us about sports, and we encouraged them. First, Nick played baseball, and after a couple of fly balls to the head, we decided that he should do something different.

Then came football, but a concussion sidelined him. Wrestling was next, and he liked it and was good. Finally, in 7th grade, he gave Track a try and discovered he had a talent for running. In 8th grade, he also ran Cross Country, won several races, and found his passion!Stitzer1

He continued with Track and Cross Country throughout High School, going to state his Junior year in both. He just missed standing on the podium with an 8th place finish in the mile that year in track and finished 18th at state in CC. During this time, he was still wrestling, winning matches, and having fun. Determined to make it to the podium in CC and Track his Senior Year, Nick put in close to 2,500 miles in the off-season. To say it paid off is an understatement.

Foster care can provide opportunities for self-discovery

Nick won Conference and returned to State in Cross Country, earning a 7th-place finish. Next up, he qualified for the Junior Olympics. 
Our family trip to College Station, Texas, to watch him run was amazing! Nick ran a brilliant race and placed 9th out of 93 17-18-year-old athletes from all over the United States.
During Nick's senior Year in Track, he was one of the top runners in the State, winning both Conference and Regionals in the 1600 and 3200-meter runs. At Sectionals, Nick again placed 1st in the 1600 and placed a close 2nd in the 3200. He broke his own school records in each event and holds five individual records at his High School.
Nick signed his letter of intent to run Cross Country and Track at UW Stout next year. Nick is proof that kids can heal. Teens in foster care can reach for their dreams like any other kid. It doesn’t matter where you come from as long as you put your mind to it.

Adopting from foster care has been a gift to my family.

My wife and I adopted Nick and his brother Richie in 2020, making us a family of 9 then. (Now we are 10) I encourage everyone to consider giving a teen in foster care a chance to reach for the stars!


CCR desperately needs more foster homes for teens. Please don't fear fostering teens; please don't believe fostering little kids will be easier to care for. Remember that challenging behaviors don’t necessarily begin during the teenage years. Many behaviors and emotions build over time, often starting in the early years of development. The good news is healing does happen. Teens like Nick can blossom and offer foster parents many unexpected rewards.
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