|Written by Lu Stitt|
|Thursday, 20 September 2012 00:00|
Jerry and Tammy Oothoudt’s daughter, Krista, was 14 years old when they decided they wanted more children in the house. Rather than give birth to their own, they called Catholic Charities about its foster/adoption program.
Once the couple qualified, Kevin arrived, a young boy who needed a home while the courts worked through his case. The Oothoudts fell in love, so when the courts severed Kevin’s parental rights, they adopted him, said Rene Livas, a licensed and adoptive case worker with Catholic Charities.
Other foster children arrived at the Camp Verde home as the Oothoudts provided respite care until the children could be placed either back with their parents or in another home. Then a young girl named Vanaa was looking for a permanent home. Two adoptive situations fell through, but the Oothoudts turned out to be Vanaa’s “third time’s the charm.”
“She came here Feb. 9, 2011. The other placements didn’t go because of problems outside of her doing. Then she came here,” Livas said.
“And we’re not quitting on her,” Jerry Oothoudt said.
“Now they’re stuck with me,” the 14-year-old girl said. “I like it here because they care about me, and I like Krista. It feels like home. It is home.”
The Oothoudts continued to take in foster children. They currently have four foster children living in their Camp Verde home.
For the full story, see the Wednesday, Sept. 19, edition of The Camp Verde Journal.
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