• 37°

Rowan County teacher, single parent fulfills dream of fostering

ROCKWELL — Amy Vedeikis has known since she was a teenager that she would become a foster parent someday and possibly even adopt a child in need of a stable family life.

Late last winter, she put a plan into action. Today, she is a vocal advocate not only for foster parenting but for single-parent fostering and adoption.

“I’ve always known since high school age that fostering or adopting was something I wanted to do,” said Vedeikis, who has been a teacher in the Rowan County school system for 18 years. “I kept waiting for the right time. I always said God would open the window and give me a sign.”

Amy Vedeikis

Her sister saw an article in the paper about an information session at Nazareth Child & Family Connection.

“I went, and I was hooked,” said Vedeikis, whose aunt was also a foster parent. “It just took a long time to get myself to this point —  point of clarity.”

The information session was for a 10-week foster parenting and adoption class last winter that Nazareth Child & Family Connection offers twice a year. Vedeikis completed the class, followed up with required paperwork and was licensed by the state.

A similar information session is scheduled for Aug. 14 at Nazareth’s Salisbury office.

Early this summer Vedeikis got the call that two sisters, ages 6 and 7, were in need of fostering.

“My whole thing is God wouldn’t give me what I can’t handle, and I jumped right on in,” said Vedeikis.

Vedeikis is single, and she admits the prospect of foster parenting by herself gave her pause.

“That is probably the one thing that was in the back of my mind all the time: ‘Am I going to be able to do this myself.’ There’s no good-cop, bad-cop; I’m going to have to do it all,” she said.

“Most of the time, you don’t hear of single people doing it. There was another girl in my class that was single, and we were a support system for each other. And I have a very supportive family and group of friends. And, of course, Nazareth is there to help when you need it.”

The two girls lived with Vedeikis for 45 days, a joyful and rewarding time for the foster mom. But the siblings transitioned into their grandparents’ home, reuniting them with family. It was a bittersweet time.

“That was one of the roughest moments ever because you become so attached. Spending so much time with them and realizing I was making their life easier and providing them opportunities to grow and be kids and not worry about things,” said Vedeikis. “But I had to constantly talk myself through it, that they have gone with family members and that will be good, and that I’ve done a lot to help them.

“It was rough, but I’ve made it through this. I’m a teacher. I see kids leave me every year, and I cry. This is different because they are with you day and night. But in the heart-of-hearts, this is what God wanted me to do, and I pray that I’ve helped them.”

The experience hasn’t slowed Vedeikis’ drive to foster and eventually adopt.

“My heart was broken, but I knew I wouldn’t stop because they left. There are other kids out there that need me.”

Vedeikis says a vitally important part of her journey has been the help and support of Nazareth Child & Family Connection, from the information session and 10-week fostering class to support through the licensing process to answering the phone when she called for advice or help.

“I’m so thankful I did that,” she said of the class. “My experience with Nazareth has been nothing but the best experience. They were always there to answer questions. They are another piece of the support that I’ve needed and had. That class was a blessing.”

Vedeikis encourages friends and strangers alike to look at foster parenting to decide if it is a fit for them. The best first step, she says, is to attend Nazareth’s fostering and adoption session at 6 p.m. Aug. 14 at Nazareth’s Salisbury facility, 165 Mahaley Ave.

Registration is available by calling 704-279-5556, Ext. 111, or visiting https://bit.ly/2zPA0Te.

Comments

Local

City approves DOT agreement, Salisbury Station project could begin next year

Local

County plans to use vulture effigy, enforce violations to remedy animal carcass feeding problem

Education

Two weeks after ending enhanced protocols, Catawba has no COVID-19 cases

News

Council to hear revised version of Downtown Main Street Plan

News

Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill

Coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccinations in Rowan top positives since start of pandemic

Crime

Man faces drug charges after breaking and entering call

Lifestyle

Waterworks schedules 2021 Summer ARTventures

Crime

Blotter: Man faces drug charges after being found passed out in vehicle

Ask Us

Ask Us: What programs exist for litter cleanup?

Business

County begins accepting restaurant grant applications

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with nine more felony sex offenses

Nation/World

Biden team readies wider economic package after virus relief

Nation/World

Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings

Nation/World

Cuomo sorry for remarks aide ‘misinterpreted’ as harassment

Nation/World

Trump calls for GOP unity, repeats lies about election loss

Education

Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators

Crime

Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police

Local

Commissioners will hear details about changes to solar energy policies

Business

After overcoming obstacles, local barber Daniel King earns registered status

Lifestyle

39th annual K12 student exhibitions go virtual

Business

Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Salute to Agri-Business’ at March Power in Partnership

Local

Local legislators back bills ranging from new restrictions on sex offenders to Holocaust education

News

After surviving COVID-19 scare, Lois Willard set to celebrate 100th birthday