Julie and Lou Foster have opened their home and hearts to six adopted children. Two of their sons, Donny and Jon, have significant medical needs as well as developmental disabililties. Donny has a mild developmental disability and Jon has autism. Caring for the boys means that Julie and Lou have to stay on top of a lot of details.
The Fosters were friends with another couple who had a son with autism. When the boy's mother and father died suddenly within months of each other, Julie and Lou realized how unprepared they were for such a situation. "We looked at each other and said, 'we need to make a plan,'" said Julie.
The Fosters turned to The Arc Greater Twin Cities for help. The Arc's Lifetime Assistance Program (LAP) guided them through the steps of planning a secure future, based on their vision of a good life for their sons.
Each boy now has his own LAP plan. Donny's plan includes a job and a place to live where he will have assistance. Jon's needs are greater, so his plan focuses on the care he will need to stay healthy and happy.
Connection with other people and the community is also crucial. "Lou and I have always stood up for our kids," Julie said. "It's important for them to keep having the chance to do what typical kids do. Acceptance is huge."
The Fosters now have a sense of security about their sons' futures. Julie said, "We wouldn't be where we are today if it weren't for The Arc."
Will you support people like the Fosters by making a gift to The Arc Greater Twin Cities today? Your gift goes further with a 1% match from PayPal on #GivingTuesday2014, helping more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community.
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