MISSOULA - A Missoula County Sheriff’s deputy decided to be the change he wanted to see in his community, and in the process, became a dad.
It’s a simple drawing by a little girl that helps Deputy Travis Wafstet through the complexities of patrol.
“I keep it here in my patrol car everyday on patrol so I have a memory of that extra five minutes is all it takes to impact a child’s life,” Wafstet said.
He’s wanted to be an officer ever since he was a kid.
“One of the first Christmas gifts I ever remember was a scanner from radio shack and I listened day and night to hear what the officers out there were doing.”
He served as a cadet in high school, put himself through the national park service academy and is the currently the assistant chief of the east Missoula fire department.
But it was his time spent on patrol that changed the course of his life.
"I had a tough case. I had an investigation on patrol and ultimately, the child was removed from a drug-endangered situation. It weighed on me for a while so I brought the idea to my wife and told her I think we need to do something. We are not the kind of people who talk about problems, were the kind who find solutions."
Travis and Kari became foster parents before they were married, and last month, they adopted two beautiful children, Bryan and Annamay.
This will be their first Christmas as Mom and Dad.
He says being foster parent can break your heart, but it can also allow it to grow in ways you never thought possible.
“They say it takes only one adult to care about a child and their situation to change their life. So I think that even if you only do it for a short amount of time, that you have the potential to change a child’s life forever.
Travis and Kari say they won’t stay a family of four for long as they plan to grow their family.