Foster Parenting Testimonial

Foster parents Kendell and Denise Docherty with their boys Lawson, Thomas, Sammy, and Sumner.

Foster parents always have room for more

Above a sea of shoes, there is a hand printed sign taped in the entrance to Denise Pippy-Docherty and Kendall Docherty’s home.

“When I stop speeding through life, I find the joy in each day’s doings, in the life that cannot be bought, but only discovered, created, savored and lived.”

There is little doubt Stratford PEI couple, with their four boys, three dogs, six bunnies and four cats - have a speedy life.

But four and a half years ago the elementary school teacher and insurance salesman/musician decided to become foster parents and open their big welcoming home to children in need.

Today, they’re fostering two young children who they’ve had with them since shortly after birth.

Having these little children around is teaching their boys compassion and empathy, Kendall says.

“Our boys are learning that the world isn’t just what they’re living - they’re living a very blessed life. I think it will help them be better fathers.” 

“We always wanted a big family,” Denise says as she cuts tiny chunks of banana for sticky little hands grabbing from a high chair. "We had been talking about fostering for a while and decided to do it. We said “this is workable.”

“We really like having little people around, they make life interesting,” Kendall says, picking up the toddler at his knee.
“You’re tired, you’re worn out, but all they have to do is smile at you.”

Denise and Kendall have had a number of children since they started fostering. The hardest part, they say, is letting go.

“You’re dealing with feelings of loss you’ve never had before, it is hard for the whole family - but we have each other," Denise explains. “You have to think of it as right now, you can’t look too far ahead.”

The Docherty boys are well-behaved, polite, and very attentive to the foster children’s needs.

One of their sons sits drawing with the little one, while another watches as the baby crawls around their living room. 

Everyone in the family is aware of how essential it is for babies to bond during the early years of life.  
“We answer every call they have, we treat them as if they were our own,” Denise says. “We are a shelter in their lives.”

The children are also learning to go with the flow of a busy family life, with four boys in hockey.

No one knows when we’ll get the call that these children can go back to their birth parents, but part of this experience is learning to let go.

“You love like crazy and you hurt like crazy,” Denise said. 

Foster parents receive monthly compensation based on the needs of the child and the level of care provided. You don’t do it for the money, Denise said, but it helps. 

During Foster Parents’ Week, we want to say 'thank you' to all the foster parents who open their doors and their hearts to children in need of foster care. There is always a need for more foster parents in this province. Islanders are invited to visit the new website and spread the word about the rewarding aspects of fostering.

For more information please contact 1-902-368-5381 (Charlottetown, Montague and Souris) or 1-902-888-8130 (Summerside and O’Leary).  

Published date: 
July 25, 2016
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Department of Family and Human Services
2nd Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-620-3777
Toll-free: 1-866-594-3777
Fax: 902-368-4740