NewsPay It Forward


Couple Cares For Disabled, Dying Children

Posted at 8:43 AM, Nov 14, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-14 17:22:57-05


Every week, we bring you the story of people “paying it forward” in our West Michigan, and this one is hard to top.

For seven years, Bryce and Susan Beckett have been opening their Grand Rapids home to foster children who are considered “medically fragile.”

The term refers to kids who are disabled, dependent on equipment like a ventilator, or even terminally ill.

“It’s an honor to serve them, to care for them, to love them,” Bryce told FOX 17 News. “They’re just like any other kid. When we take on the responsibilities of a child, that’s our child no matter what.”

The Becketts have adapted their home and lifestyle to meet the demand of being 24/7 caretakers. The couple is currently caring for four girls ages 11 months to seven years. Three have been adopted so far.

“It doesn’t matter if they’re disabled,” explained Susan. “They still deserve to have a family, a mom and a dad. Sisters and brothers. They deserve it just as much as a child that’s not disabled.”

The couple has said goodbye to five children who have passed away. Bryce said they’ve learned to “love loosely.”

“I learn to love them each time, and you got to learn to give them up, let them go,” he said. “You weep, and you carry a little bit of them right there.”

The couple does get some help from nurses provided by the state. Medicaid covers the cost of health insurance and equipment needed for the kids. The Becketts are also reimbursed monthly at a set rate determined by the state for each child.

Bryce and Susan say they do it because they’d rather see the kids inside a loving home than alone in a hospital.

“It’s hard to explain, but there’s a deep fulfillment I get from loving a child that has no one to love them,” explained Susan.

“I really believe that our calling is to care for them,” added Bryce. “And we don’t take that lightly. We really want to make sure that they’re loved and they know it.”

The Becketts have been working with D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s to find and care for these kids.

For more information on that human service agency, click  here.