Demetrice Jones once told a friend that she’d have a house full of children if her husband would let her. He did, but the way their children arrived wasn’t necessarily how the two of them initially planned it.
She and her husband, Davis, have one biological daughter, Davion, 28, and have adopted five of the foster children they’ve taken in during the past 13 years.
They currently have two foster children living with them. They also cared for her goddaughter for four years.
And Jones runs an in-home day care.
“It’s not always easy. The picture may be painted to be a nice one, but you’ve got to have a lot of love and patience,” she said.
Demetrice has always worked with children. Her husband is retired from the Army, and she started working in day care when they were stationed in Germany in 1988.
“Davion was able to go to work with me,” she said.
“From there, I worked as an assistant day care director and became a parapro when Davion was in elementary school. I always worked in the school setting.”
When Davion was about 15, the Joneses became foster parents for the first time. Demetrice’s aunt said she’d be a great foster mother.
Their first foster child was a pre-teen named Cassandra. She became the first child the couple would adopt. Davion had wanted a baby sister.
Even though Cassandra, who is now 24, wasn’t an infant at the time, she required a lot of care because she suffered burns from her waist to her feet.
“I thought it was a good idea,” Davion said of foster care.
“It was good to reach out to the children. She’s loved all of them just as though they were her own. She’s always helping others. When it comes to a child, she will sacrifice herself.”
Other children followed, including Lana, now 21, who came to the couple as a foster child when she was 9 and was adopted when she was 10.
“When I first met her, she took me to Target and started buying me clothes. No one ever bought me anything before,” Lana said.
Demetrice and Davis have adopted and taken in the unwanted and abused – the ones who otherwise could wind up as statistics, she said. They’ve fostered more than a dozen children in 13 years.
Many of them have come with emotional and physical wounds. They’ve spent many hours taking these children to counseling and doctors’ appointments.
The other three children Demetrice and Davis adopted are siblings. They adopted Jasmine, 7, when she was an infant, along with her sister Esperanza, 19, and brother, Victor, 12.
Though she’s had her share of challenges in caring for her children , Demetrice said she is glad she did it.
“I love them as my own. No one can say I did not love them. I pray over them; I speak positive things over them,” she said.