Sheryl and James are the grandparents of eight children. They were introduced to Hoyleton when their grandchildren’s mother abandoned them, and they were put into DCFS custody.
Sheryl and James immediately acted and worked closely with Becky Depping, the Hoyleton Foster Care Case Worker, and Becky Rhoden, the Child Welfare Manager, to keep the kids together and provide them with a safe and loving environment to call home.
Seven of the eight children have been adopted by, or have legal guardianship by, members of their family. One child has been adopted by a Hoyleton non-relative foster home, but they remain close with the family.
Sheryl and James have adopted two of their grandkids, 13-year-old Jayce and three-year-old Nevaeh. They also have guardianship of their 15-year-old grandson Cole.
After the adoption proceedings, Sheryl’s son Jayce said, “Finally, I feel secure now!” She is so happy knowing she provided him with that security. Jayce felt so secure in his new home environment that he decided to change his middle name so he could share a name with his grandfather James.
Seven-year-old Draven was adopted a few years ago by Sheryl’s niece, who was struggling with fertility. He was a very welcome addition to their family.
The whole family works hard to keep all the kids connected through family gatherings, phone calls, photos and texts.
Becky, the Child Welfare Manager, said, “This is a very loving family that is always willing to step up when asked to care for their grandkids.”
They are a typical busy family. Navaeh, who is deaf, just started school at the Illinois Institute for the Deaf in Jacksonville, IL. Jayce and Cole are avid bowlers, and they both recently medaled in the Special Olympics bowling competition. They are now looking forward to the state bowling tournament coming up in December. They will get to travel to Peoria to compete. There will be a quarter auction in their hometown to raise money for their travel expenses.
When they aren’t bowling, the boys like to play video games and basketball. Becky, who continues to work closely with the family, said, “Sheryl somehow keeps all the medical appointments straight and is a great advocate for their needs.”
“Things can be difficult at times, but you just have to be patient and listen to the children and allow them to respond to you when they feel comfortable,” said Sheryl. She recently taught one of the boys to sew and make things, which gave him the feeling of being needed.
“I could not ask for more committed and caring relative foster parents,” Becky said.
For more information on our adoption services, visit https://hoyleton.org/programs/foster-care-placement/permanency-services/