Clint and Cole

Clint Schumacher Profile
Article by Clint Schumacher
Professional Foster Care Parent

"I wish I could have accepted and believed that while I was there, though."My wife Sydnee and I spent 2 years as houseparents prior to becoming Professional Foster Parents here at Gateway Woods. One of the most difficult youths from our time in residential was a 16-year-old named Cole."

Recently, Cole’s face popped up on an incoming video call and I admit I found myself guarded at first. He was smoking a vape, didn’t hold back his swearing, and had just sent me a picture of a recent ultrasound. He was going to be a dad. I congratulated him and told him it was good to see him. When I asked how he was doing I heard nothing short of a miracle.

He had all charges against him dropped, was staying clean from drugs and alcohol, is pursuing his dream as an EMT by going to college, and is currently number 1 in his class of 27.

He went on to apologize for his time at Gateway. He recalled times when we had to remove our daughter, Navie, or shut down the house because of his behavior. It made him feel bad and he realized he took it too far. He said he was so hardened when he first arrived, that he couldn’t let anyone in because he was so hurt from the abuse and manipulation from his past. He quickly learned our flaws and used his words to try to tear us apart when trying to talk through things with him. He once told me, "If I ever met this God you serve, I would flip him off and then kiss him on the forehead."

Now, when Cole looks back on his memories and time at Gateway, he sees it as the best time of his life. “I wish I could have accepted and believed that while I was there, though.”

At the end of our call, he told me his desire as a dad is to be able to raise his child to be as happy as our little Navie Lou and that he was glad to have been able to experience that kind of parenthood modeled to him. All of this is his desire, despite his old habit of calling us two-faced, not believing that we were genuinely trying to help, not hurt him.

I am praising God for the work he continues to do in the lives of the youth we worked with. As a selfish, goal-oriented person, I try to weigh the success of how I felt I did while helping these teens during their time here, or if I did enough. Silly, right?! I forget too often it’s not about me or what I say, but rather just being consistent, reliable, loving, caring, and forgiving so they can see Jesus at work.

Clint is currently serving as a professional foster care parent with his wife Sydnee and their family. They also served as houseparents.