RICHMOND, Va. -- May is Foster Care Awareness Month, so CBS 6 has partnered with Connecting Hearts wanted to share stories showcasing the need for foster parents in our area, and what it's like for families who have been there for these children.
Lori Jacocks is one of those foster parents who felt a calling to become one years ago.
"Something that I always wanted to do, you know, growing up. And, we were in a place we felt like it was a good time in our life to do that, and we just saw where we could make a difference and thought that it will bring blessings into our lives, which it has," she said.
After having three children of their own, Lori and her husband Kyle opened their hearts and their home to foster children.
Kyle said, "Once I got into it and understood more about it, I was really compelled as more of a calling and a service, and then I remember a friend of mine asked me, 'Well, why are you doing this?' and, I thought, because we can. We have enough love in this family to be able to do it."
For seven years, they've been providing a loving place for children to live temporarily until they can go back to a member of their birth family.
But sometimes, they can't. That's why Lori and Kyle now have four kids. They adopted their youngest after he spent four years in foster care.
"We knew we were going to love him, and we weren't expecting him to stay, because again, our goal is to have a safe place for him until he's able to go with some family, and when we found out that wasn't going to happen, then we certainly wanted to step up and do that," said Kyle.
Lori and Kyle say the training and education they've received as foster parents have made them better parents to their own children.
They've also formed lasting relationships with little ones they once took care of.
"We have a little girl that we kept, we had a foster child for a while, and she's now with family... And we still get to see her on the weekends, and it's like getting to be a grandma, even though I'm too young to be a grandma," said Lori.
"You're coming into it thinking that you're giving, and you are -- you're giving up your time, and that's valuable. However, you get so much more back, which is very surprising," said Kyle. "I was not expecting to get more back than we've given."
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, you can contact Connecting Hearts by calling 804-282-5644.
Note: To protect the privacy of these foster children, their faces have been blurred.