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Unbreakable Bond

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Centerfield family makes fostering a priority

By Alix Mattingly

 

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With eight kids in the house, Debbie Lance needs two calendars to keep track of every appointment.

Foster parents Debbie and Roger Lance currently have 17 kids in their lives. Between the 10 biological children from previous marriages, the three adopted children and the four they are currently fostering, the Lance household in Centerfield is always busy.

Debbie has always known she wanted to be a foster mother. Before her marriage to Roger in 2005, she gave him an ultimatum.

“I knew this was something I was going to do and if we were going to be married he had to be on board,” Debbie said.

Three years into their marriage Debbie quit her job at a local preschool to make sure her family would be financially stable on one salary.

Six months later, the Lance’s signed up with the state’s oldest child welfare agency, Maryhurst. After being accepted as a suitable home, the Lance’s received their first child. Shortly after beginning their foster parent journey, both Debbie and Roger were diagnosed with cancer within six months of each other.

After making a full recovery the Lance’s opened up their home again. Through the fostering process, they came to their first adoption, a teenager named Sarah.

“We fell in love with her right away and knew we wanted to adopt,” Debbie said.

The couple was then asked to watch a set of three-year-old twins so another foster family could have a break. The twins had fetal alcohol syndrome, which led to a weekend of sleepless nights for the Lance’s.

“After they left we said we could never do that again,” Debbie said.

Little did Debbie know she would soon become their mother.

A few months after providing respite care for the twins, the Lance’s received a call asking if they would care for the twins full time. The couple agreed and ended up adopting them. Now in second grade, the twins are doing well.

Currently, the Lance’s are fostering four brothers and sisters that range in age from three months to four years old.

The next move for the Lance family is a new vehicle. Currently, the whole family cannot fit into one vehicle, so an upgrade is in order. A 12-passenger van will soon be gracing the driveway of the Lance household.

For those who wish to follow the Lance’s story or join their foster and adoption community, a Facebook page called “Lance’s Lot” has been created. Debbie hopes that other families will like the page and become part of the foster community in Oldham County.

“To me, it doesn’t make sense why people don’t foster,” Debbie said. “If they have the room in their home and a heart for children, they can do it. There are so many children in Kentucky who need a home.”

Email us about this story at amattingly@oldhamera.com.