Weaver Family Story

A Lifestyle of Hospitality

Brian and Vivia Weaver met when they were 14 and 12, respectively. They didn’t know it at the time, but that young friendship would lead to a wedding and more than 20 years dedicated to caring for youth in need of a loving, stable home.  

Early in their marriage, Vivia looked after a young girl who had experienced severe trauma and was living in kinship care with her extended family. Seeing the need up close and struggling to have children of their own, the Weavers became licensed foster parents. To date, Brian and Vivia have provided care for 87 youth and have adopted six children. They also have three biological children, in spite of their doctor’s earlier prognosis. Visiting their home is like being welcomed into a family reunion made up of people you have never met. They are quick to offer a plate of lasagna and to let you pet their chinchilla.

James*, a young man who has lived with the Weavers for six years, openly shares his story. “Before care, my mother was heavily into drugs. At 13, I was raising my brothers and sisters. We had a case worker knock on our door because none of us were going to school, and the next day my mom overdosed.”

Though his mother survived, the state placed James and his sibling with the Weavers for their own safety. At first, it was difficult to open up and trust a new family, but their consistency and unwillingness to give up on him chipped away at the walls he had built up to protect himself.

“Before care, I didn’t know when my next meal or shower would be,” James explains. “It was a whole different ballgame when I moved here. They helped me learn that this is a stable household. I don’t have to fear all those things.”

With the Weavers’ support, James excelled in high school sports, lettering three out of four years in football, four in track and two in wrestling. He got involved at church and went on several youth ministry group trips. With a wide smile, he shares how he finally decided to apply himself academically, finishing his last semester of high school with a 3.22 GPA — something he thought was previously impossible.

“I’ve slowly learned that family doesn’t have to be blood,” James says. “It’s the people who care about you, and at the end of the day have your back.”

After graduation, James enlisted in the Army National Guard. He and the Weavers were invited down on the field at the 2019 Kansas City Chiefs Charity Game to thank him for his service and to honor the Weavers’ longtime commitment to Missouri’s youth. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes personally handed James a signed football at the start of the game, something James says he’ll remember for the rest of his life.

The Weavers have had their fair share of challenges during their time as foster parents. However, they are quick to encourage others to care for children in state custody. “You have to have a sense of humor,” Vivia offers with a laugh. "You cannot take everything so seriously. That is one of our number one things.”

Brian nods and, after a pause, shares his own advice. “Every child reacts to the abuse that they went through differently. You might have three kids that were in the same house and have the same trauma, and each one is going to deal with it differently. It’s important to take a lot of mental notes.”

Vivia quickly jumps back in with a few more tidbits. “This job is impossible to do alone,” she says emphatically. “There are so many of us out there willing to help. I have a moms’ group that I meet with every Thursday. There are plenty of Facebook groups where you can post things and find support without judgment. And don’t hesitate to use a behavioral interventionist. It was hard for me to give control of tough situations to someone else within my own home, but it’s been a literal Godsend.”

The Weavers aren’t superheroes. They are just two individuals who saw a need, and were willing to meet it. That need is still great. If you would like more information about what it could look like if you became a foster parent, please reach out to us.