Lutheran Services Carolinas: Foster Parents

By Katie Scarvey

Lutheran Services Carolinas

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”

Mister Rogers

Ryan and Dixie Nance are indeed heroes — people who “see the need and respond.” This South Carolina couple did what many people only think about doing and became foster parents with Lutheran Services Carolinas.

Ryan originally wanted two children; Dixie wanted four. They considered it a compromise when their third was born. (Their children are ages 15, 12, and 10.)

“We feel so fortunate for what we have,” says Dixie, who is a stay-at-home mom. Ryan works for an engineering firm. “We are fortunate to be blessed with three healthy children who go with the flow. We feel like we have so much that we just want to help others.

Dixie couldn’t quite give up the idea of a fourth child, and three years ago she and Ryan became foster parents. The decision to foster seemed a natural fit for the family.

“Some people are passionate about animals, or passionate about a particular charity. We are passionate about children. And if we can help other children that’s what we want to do.”

Like many families, Ryan and Dixie were aware of the emotional toll fostering might have on their children. It wasn’t something they took lightly, and they waited until they felt their children were ready before sharing their lives with a foster child.

Their children adjusted and treat the children who come into their home as they would any family member.

“You just do it,” Dixie says. “You do what’s important and it all works out.”

When one child who had been with them for eight months left, Dixie and Ryan’s children were sad — but, as Dixie says, “That’s how you should feel.”

Seeing how the children placed in their care have grown emotionally, socially, and physically has been powerful, says Dixie, who hopes that she and Ryan will eventually be able to adopt through foster care.

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of foster care, call 1-800-HELPING to be connected to the LSC child and family services office closest to you.

If you would like to see more stories like this, please email to be put on the LSC Voices magazine mailing list.

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