CH foster mother honored

CH foster mother honored
Posted on 05/14/2014

Foster parents provide stability, compassion and help for thousands of children each year who find themselves in desperate circumstances beyond their control. The month of May is National Foster Care Month, and as part of the festivities Utah Foster Care honored Cottonwood Heights resident Tammi Sumsion as Salt Lake Valley Foster Mother of the Year at a March for Kids on May 9.

“I’m so honored to have this opportunity and be able to share my thoughts about everything that’s wonderful about foster care,” said Sumsion.

Tammi and her husband Doug are the parents of two adopted sons with special needs and became licensed foster parents in 2011. They then fostered a two-year-old boy named Orion, who was born prematurely and diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He was also a victim of neglect.

Despite these obstacles, the Sumsions went above and beyond in their care of Orion. Tammi attended countless medical appointments and therapy sessions and continued to work with Orion at home. Though doctors had predicted that Orion would never be able to eat solid food or communicate, after a year and a half with the Sumsions he was able to eat some foods, could crawl and roll on the floor unassisted and had developed the ability to communicate through noises and sounds.

While caring for Orion, the Sumsions also agreed to foster Orion’s newborn biological sibling Kenni. Baby Kenni’s biological mother had tested positive for AIDS and had been using drugs during her pregnancy. Tammi visited Kenni consistently in the hospital and has helped her thrive despite a severely compromised immune system and frequent medical appointments.

Orion was recently adopted by a family out of state. Tammi’s efforts to help Orion learn and grow are a significant reason why Orion was able to find a permanent, loving home. The Sumsion family continues to welcome Kenni in their home, and she is now five months old.

Tammi’s success was recognized after the March for Kids on May 9. For more information about Utah Foster Care and to find out how to become a licensed foster parent, visit or call 1-877-505-KIDS.