Through tears, Dave’s first words to us were, “AGAPE is awesome!”
Dave and Cheryl Bice have helped eight beautiful kids during their ten years as foster parents and provided for families by taking in those “youngins.” It was Tom Slaughter who got them started with us. Seated at the back of the church, the Bices listened to his sermons about AGAPE and cried every time. Eventually, they got tired of crying and decided to do something about it. Dave met Tom in his office and said, “Tom, we are two things. We are a little poor, and we are a little strange.” Dave was afraid he and his wife would have to pay for everything or that they were not a good fit, but Tom said they were perfect.
Rachel Solomon and Nicole Spickard, their two workers, helped them put those convictions into action. Rachel was very understanding and provided answers to all their questions. When they did not know how to handle parents being in jail for abusing kids, Rachel was there to teach them that their feelings were okay. Dave and Cheryl were never alone during this process. Once you are part of AGAPE, we permanently become each other’s family.
Nicole tells a story about the Bices calling for help with a child in their care. The child was constantly crying and not getting into a routine, leaving them feeling tired and stressed. Nicole asked Tom to call them. “Tom had so many other things he needed to do for AGAPE, but he took the time to call us.” The Bices are still so grateful; they love kids and AGAPE for their consistent help and critical service to kids with no other options.
As foster parents, your role is to help and love children. Dave and Cheryl excelled in this. They also had some dear friends who helped them. An interesting twist in their AGAPE story is that the kids they helped also helped the Bices!
Through these experiences and relationships, Dave and Cheryl developed into great caregivers. Cheryl became a dietician for one of their kids. Dave got a job helping special needs kids at Gateway due to a child with Cerebral Palsy he took care of and a referral letter from Tom.
Even though their foster care journey has ended, it still touches their lives and that of others. They are now caregivers to their parents. The Bices are the Godparents for the children of one of their fosters. Another of their kids calls Dave “Uncle Dave.” With tears in his eyes, “Uncle Dave” proudly shared that a child of theirs who was always in trouble recently received the “Most Spirited” award at Scout camp. Dave also added that being with AGAPE has made him cry a lot. When he met Tom Slaughter, he met a person who loved kids. He had a way of communicating our ministry and its importance that calls people to action, people like Dave and Cheryl Bice.
If you know Dave, you know that as we wrapped the interview up here, he began crying again!