Published on February 16, 2018
Idoshia Gordon was struggling with a feeling that her life was lacking something. An empty nester, she came home from work around 1:00 each afternoon to a big, empty house.
To fill her time, her home and her heart, she began fostering children through the Department of Child & Family Services (DCFS). She found the work immensely rewarding, but she knew had more to give.
Years earlier, her mother had suffered a severe stroke, leaving her with a feeding tube and other medical equipment. Idoshia took her in and cared for her. Having this experience as a skilled nurse, she made the decision to begin fostering medically needy children through Catholic Charities’ Therapeutic Family Services program.
Therapeutic Family Services (TFS) matches children with moderate to severe emotional, behavioral, or developmental problems, or medically fragile children with families who provide specialized foster care. TFS foster parents work with social workers and a team of medical professionals who develop a treatment plan to help reunite the child with their family if possible or to find them a permanent home if not.
Idoshia believes programs like TFS that specifically address the needs of medically fragile foster children are important because when a child is in foster care and they have these medical problems, there needs to be somewhere for them to go other than an institution.
Her favorite part of the work is watching the children grow and improve. “They come into my home and their health improves. They get a better quality of life,” she says of her time with the foster children. “I just love it. I love to see them get better and go back home if they can.”
For the past 22 years, Idoshia has been welcoming children into her home, helping them learn, grow and develop until a time when they can return back to their own homes.
She finds the work rewarding and encourages other empty nesters like herself to consider volunteering as foster parents if they’re able, especially to medically needy children.