Before people become foster parents, they have to go through a training program that helps them understand what it will be like and provides them with a sense of if foster parenting is right for them.
"The classes prepared you pretty well for what to expect," Candy said. "They tell you it's going to be good for the first day or so and then reality is going to sink in. … They told you what to expect and how to handle it and you always have your worker that you can call."
Dan said one of the hardest things about becoming a foster parent for him has been trying to avoid getting emotionally attached to the children he cares for.
One six-week-old infant the Tribuzios cared for was an especially difficult goodbye for Dan.
"We didn't even have (the baby) but two or three weeks, but you just kind of get emotionally attached. You try to keep your guard up a little bit, but it's hard," he said. "We understand what the goal is, but when you have a newborn … it's hard not to get attached when you're up with them all night long, changing diapers and feeding them and everything else just like they were your own."
But despite having to say goodbye, Dan said being a foster parent can be especially rewarding when he gets to observe parents turn their lives around so they can get their kids back.
"That's what we're here for is to help them. Our desire is not to take anybody's kid and keep them but to help get the children returned back to their parents," he said. "That's what I would want somebody to do — if our kids were to be taken away, I would want somebody to work with us to help us get our boys back."
Candy said in the case of their two adopted children, it was difficult to bond at first because there was the potential that the children would be returned to a family member.
But once it was clear there was no way that was happening, "then we were able to settle in and really get that bond," she said. "But you never want to do that until you know for sure."
With the Tribuzios' permission, Bailey and Cody's biological grandmother still pays them visits and brings gifts from time to time, especially around the holidays and birthdays.
Candy said there is a supportive bond that can form between foster families and biological families. It's one aspect of foster parenting she hadn't anticipated.
"We just always thought we would be so mad at these people that did these things to these kids, but you realize that some of them, they're just young and they need help," she said. "So you do kind of bond with their families too, a little bit."
Dan said for him and Candy, their religion is what motivates them in part to be foster parents.
"We're able to take kids that … were not normally able to go to church or anything like that and then we can raise them up in a Christian home and teach them about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," he said. "That's the first and foremost thing that they need to know about."
Candy said the best advice she can give to anyone considering becoming a foster parent is to "dive right in."
"Don't be afraid to do it," she said. "It's very rewarding."
FOSTER INFO AVAILABLE
A free informational meeting for prospective foster and adoptive parents is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. April 9 at 1714 Perryville Road, Suite 550, in Danville. Anyone interested may attend and learn about the training criteria and program.