Ever since he was young, Chas Shira felt he had been called by God to follow his faith and allow it to inspire others. He always wanted to do good in the world and spread love among the hate and violence. As part of his calling, he worked hard to become a pastor. But he felt he could do more to do good in the world. That’s why Chas and his wife Katie decided they wanted to be foster parents.
Chas has since committed his family to helping children who come out of not-so-wholesome family environments. And after his most recent fostering experience, he opened up his story to the Love What Matters Facebook page, writing:
“We were able to see the needs of children in Longview, and their need for good homes, and while we were still a young couple, we decided we could provide a good environment for a child in need.”
Back in 2015, Chas and Katie’s lives changed forever. They became foster parents when they took a two-month-old baby into their home. But this baby was battling a specific challenge the Shiras had never prepared to deal with.
The infant, named Jett, was born addicted to crystal meth. His mother had abused the drug during his gestation, and he was born with methamphetamines in his system. Additionally, he also had a broken femur bone. He was in rough shape.
Although the Shiras thought God had called them to foster older children, they knew that Jett needed their help most of all. He was in a needy situation and required a lot of love to get past his meth addiction.
“So here we had a call for an infant, but not just any infant, a very sick infant. We were pretty floored with the call,” Chas said. “Neither of us had any lengthy experience taking care of babies, and this baby was so sick, that CPS was actually breaking protocol and asking if we would be willing to drive the 3 hours to Fort Worth ourselves, so we could be instructed by the nurses themselves as to ‘how’ to take care of this infant.”
It was extremely inconvenient for Chas and Katie. But Chas was convinced that God called him to care for Jett. Besides dealing with Jett’s history of child abuse, the Shiras also knew nothing about rearing a baby – let alone one addicted to drugs.
“So not only had I never changed a baby, but here was a baby in a full body Pavlik harness, who I was going to have to change over the next couple of months. I tell everyone that changing his diaper with that harness on was like trying to diffuse a bomb.”
Chas struggled during those first weeks. But it was hardest to see Jett in “extraordinary pain” as he dealt with his addiction.
But they brought him to rehab and did everything they could. Soon they fell in love with him and wanted to adopt him and make him a part of their family forever.
Eventually, the court granted Chas and Katie their dream of adopting the boy. After 821 days in foster care, he was finally theirs.
Now the family is living happily together and Jett is growing up to be a strong young man!