The school newspaper of Oakville High School

myOHSonline

The school newspaper of Oakville High School

myOHSonline

The school newspaper of Oakville High School

myOHSonline

A Glimpse Into Motherhood

OHS English teacher Codie Wicks shares her foster parent story and experience
Wicks+works+to+make+lesson+plans+and+put+in+grades+for+her+students.+When+my+husband+and+I+went+back+to+work+it+was+a+whole+other+adjustment+period%2C+Wicks+said.++Wicks+only+teaches+students+in+the+freshman+class+at+Oakville+and+says+they+still+check+in+on+the+baby.+
Sawyer Bess
Wicks works to make lesson plans and put in grades for her students. “When my husband and I went back to work it was a whole other adjustment period,” Wicks said. Wicks only teaches students in the freshman class at Oakville and says they still check in on the baby.

When Codie Wicks, freshman English teacher, picked up the phone on June 20 2023, she received urgent news of a newborn baby boy who was in need of a family to love and care for him. Since then, her life has been altered in unexpected ways. 

“We found out about him in June; he was born June 19. We got a call the day after he was born from my sister’s mother in law who told us his situation. From June until now, we’ve basically been going through this whole process,” Wicks said. “Instead of going straight to adoption, he became a ward of the state at birth-due to circumstances with the birth mother and everything-so that’s why we’re doing the foster care route and then going through adoption because the goal of the state is always reunification with the birth family. That’s the goal of fostering: to get the child reunified with his/her family and when that is not the safest option or when it’s not feasible for the family or the child, they go up for adoption.” 

Since he became a ward of the state at birth, he was therefore placed in temporary custody with his great aunt. Wicks and her husband are thankful for this effort as it helped connect them to the baby, even from across the state. Typically after six months, the Missouri foster care system starts to look at other options, given that there have been no major efforts made by the parents to have custody of the child. After fostering this now eight month old child for five months, Wicks is awaiting either confirmation that she and her husband can adopt him, or if they will be returning him to his biological family.

“…there is some frustration when you don’t see any effort from the birth family to want to be reunited with the child. Coming from a place of ‘I want to see this child reunified with his family because I don’t want him to be left or abandoned’, that’s just heartbreaking.” Wicks said. “It’s kind of like your brain is split down the middle because you want to see him with his family, because that’s his family. But, there’s also another family who is ready to support him, love him and bring him into our family.”

In order to properly handle this deeply convoluted process, it is necessary as a teacher to take some time off to get everything in order. 

“It [maternity leave] started in September, because that’s when we were given placement. We went and picked him up from Kansas City and brought him back. I came back in mid-early November,” Wicks said. 

In other fields of occupation, employees can return to their occupations swiftly and pick right up where they left off. Teachers, although, are subjected to additional obstacles. 

“It was early on in the year which presented some problems because I couldn’t get to know my students very well,” Wicks said, “but I explained the situation to them and they were super supportive and they still ask about him sometimes.” 

Aside from the hardships of fostering to adopt, Wicks and her husband have earned placement of the baby in St. Louis and are nurturing him in a safe environment. The state had to  wait 60 days after his birth before they filed for abandonment and after that period, the fostering to adopt process began. Therefore, the baby can be placed with another family; in this case, Wicks’ custody. This calls for a huge transition in the lives of the parents, even more so during the first year of the baby’s development. 

“It’s an ongoing adjustment,” Wicks said. “Every month brings new milestones: one month we are drinking bottles, the next month it’s time to introduce some foods, the next month he’s learning how to put himself to sleep and the next month he’s learning to crawl. You are constantly adjusting when it comes to being a parent. As far as life with the baby, it’s amazing. We’re getting to do all of the things that we had hoped and prayed we’d be able to do with a baby.” 

Wicks’ favorite part of motherhood so far is getting to witness his frequent growth and watching him grow into his personality, although she would prefer time to slow down as many other parents so desperately wish. As for the baby, he is adjusting amazingly. It’s not every day that teachers at Oakville get to be a part of something that they have been dreaming of for years. 

“It’s been about four years since we decided to start growing our family. I was most excited about being able to start that journey of having a child and building a family. Growing up, it’s not something you imagine happening to you, ‘what if I can’t start my family’, ‘what if there are implications’ and ‘what if there are problems’,” Wicks said. “Instead of paying the money for IVF (in vitro fertilization), which is very expensive, we wanted to go down the adoption route and spend almost the same amount of money when we could hopefully be matched with a child and have that possibility be more of an outcome.”  

Despite adoption being a beneficial method, it is only humane to take into consideration the confusion and strain it can impose onto a child finding out that they are adopted. Wicks believes that a child has a right to know their story. 

“A part of adoption that I fully believe in is letting the child know their story. I don’t want to hide anything from him. It will be hard. It will be an adjustment process for him, but in all of the books I’ve read and the people I’ve talked to, they say the earlier you can talk to a child about their story, the more comfortable they become with it. Then it becomes easier to cope,” Wicks said. “…we’ll  tell him all the things about his story so then one day, he can share that. It’s a sad story, but it ends with hope. There’s still a family here and hope for him.” 

Wicks and her husband have a court date scheduled for Mar 4 where they will potentially find out if the case will sustain the goal of reunification or if it will switch to adoption. In light of her recent situation, Wicks encourages others to get involved and educated about the foster care system and adoption.  

“…I feel like there needs to be more awareness of how many kids are out there who are just as deserving of loving families and people opening up their homes to them. Having more knowledge and awareness of foster care and what that looks like is so important,” Wicks said. “There are so many resources in our community for foster care and I feel that they don’t get enough attention.” 

When Codie Wicks, freshman English teacher, picked up the phone on June 20 2023, she received urgent news of a newborn baby boy who was in need of a family to love and care for him. Since then, her life has been altered in unexpected ways. 

“We found out about him in June; he was born June 19. We got a call the day after he was born from my sister’s mother in law who told us his situation. From June until now, we’ve basically been going through this whole process,” Wicks said. “Instead of going straight to adoption, he became a ward of the state at birth-due to circumstances with the birth mother and everything-so that’s why we’re doing the foster care route and then going through adoption because the goal of the state is always reunification with the birth family. That’s the goal of fostering: to get the child reunified with his/her family and when that is not the safest option or when it’s not feasible for the family or the child, they go up for adoption.” 

Since he became a ward of the state at birth, he was therefore placed in temporary custody with his great aunt. Wicks and her husband are thankful for this effort as it helped connect them to the baby, even from across the state. Typically after six months, the Missouri foster care system starts to look at other options, given that there have been no major efforts made by the parents to have custody of the child. After fostering this now eight month old child for five months, Wicks is awaiting either confirmation that she and her husband can adopt him, or if they will be returning him to his biological family.

“…there is some frustration when you don’t see any effort from the birth family to want to be reunited with the child. Coming from a place of ‘I want to see this child reunified with his family because I don’t want him to be left or abandoned’, that’s just heartbreaking.” Wicks said. “It’s kind of like your brain is split down the middle because you want to see him with his family, because that’s his family. But, there’s also another family who is ready to support him, love him and bring him into our family.”

In order to properly handle this deeply convoluted process, it is necessary as a teacher to take some time off to get everything in order. 

“It [maternity leave] started in September, because that’s when we were given placement. We went and picked him up from Kansas city and brought him back. I came back in mid-early November,” Wicks said. 

In other fields of occupation, employees can return to their occupations swiftly and pick right up where they left off. Teachers, although, are subjected to additional obstacles. 

“It was early on in the year which presented some problems because I couldn’t get to know my students very well,” Wicks said, “but I explained the situation to them and they were super supportive and they still ask about him sometimes.” 

Aside from the hardships of fostering to adopt, Wicks and her husband have earned placement of the baby in St. Louis and are nurturing him in a safe environment. The state had to  wait 60 days after his birth before they filed for abandonment and after that period, the fostering to adopt process began. Therefore, the baby can be placed with another family; in this case, Wicks’ custody. This calls for a huge transition in the lives of the parents, even more so during the first year of the baby’s development. 

“It’s an ongoing adjustment,” Wicks said. “Every month brings new milestones: one month we are drinking bottles, the next month it’s time to introduce some foods, the next month he’s learning how to put himself to sleep and the next month he’s learning to crawl. You are constantly adjusting when it comes to being a parent. As far as life with the baby, it’s amazing. We’re getting to do all of the things that we had hoped and prayed we’d be able to do with a baby.” 

Wicks’ favorite part of motherhood so far is getting to witness his frequent growth and watching him grow into his personality, although she would prefer time to slow down as many other parents so desperately wish. As for the baby, he is adjusting amazingly. It’s not every day that teachers at Oakville get to be a part of something that they have been dreaming of for years. 

“It’s been about four years since we decided to start growing our family. I was most excited about being able to start that journey of having a child and building a family. Growing up, it’s not something you imagine happening to you, ‘what if I can’t start my family’, ‘what if there are there are implications’ and ‘what if there are problems’,” Wicks said. “Instead of paying the money for IVF (in vitro fertilization), which is very expensive, we wanted to go down the adoption route and spend almost the same amount of money when we could hopefully be matched with a child and have that possibility be more of an outcome.”  

Despite adoption being a beneficial method, it is only humane to take into consideration the confusion and strain it can impose onto a child finding out that they are adopted. Wicks believes that a child has a right to know their story. 

“A part of adoption that I fully believe in is letting the child know their story. I don’t want to hide anything from him. It will be hard. It will be an adjustment process for him, but in all of the books I’ve read and the people I’ve talked to, they say the earlier you can talk to a child about their story, the more comfortable they become with it. Then it becomes easier to cope,” Wicks said. “…we’ll  tell him all the things about his story so then one day, he can share that. It’s a sad story, but it ends with hope. There’s still a family here and hope for him.” 

Wicks and her husband have a court date scheduled for March 4 where they will potentially find out if the case will sustain the goal of reunification or if it will switch to adoption. In light of her recent situation, Wicks encourages others to get involved and educated about the foster care system and adoption.  

“…I feel like there needs to be more awareness of how many kids are out there who are just as deserving of loving families and people opening up their homes to them. Having more knowledge and awareness of foster care and what that looks like is so important,” Wicks said. “There are so many resources in our community for foster care and I feel that they don’t get enough attention.” 

It is evident that Wicks is doing an extraordinary deed for the community by taking in a child in need of support. The process is tumultuous for both the child and parents, meaning not just anyone can handle it. She and her husband intend to grow their family in the future, but are thankful for the amazing experience with Henry regardless of what the outcome is. 

“Getting to do all of the things that we had hoped and prayed we’d be able to do with a baby has been just amazing,” Wicks said, “It has its frustrations, that’s for sure, but overall it’s a good experience and I am very thankful we get to be a part of it.” 

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About the Contributors
Lucy Caira, Reporter
Hey! My name is Lucy Caira, and I am a senior at Oakville. Besides newspaper, I am involved in cross country, FBLA, STUCO, Spanish Club and more at school. I enjoy watching movies, reading books, sewing and listening to music. This is my first year on newspaper staff at OHS, and I am beyond excited to contribute to this school publication! :)
Sawyer Bess, Reporter
Hello, I'm Sawyer Bess, and it's my first year on the newspaper staff. This is also my third year in the broadcast program. I am a senior at OHS, and other programs I am involved in include Youth and Government, golf and I'm our school's mascot. After I graduate high school, I plan to enjoy my summer and then attend college, majoring in journalism at Mizzou.

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