One Arroyo Grande man has a passion for parenthood.
David Apodaca, a Harley rider and the lead guitarist for a local band called Classic Rock Odyssey, looks like a rockstar, but for the past 15 years, he’s also been a foster dad to more than 40 children.
“I remembered in my life not having a father, so I knew that it was very important. I wanted to impact the community the best way I can,” foster parent, David Apodaca, said.
David Apodaca was one of five children raised by a single mother. Growing up, he was a father figure to his younger brothers.
“It was a matter of we had to get everyone up [and] get them ready for school,” Apodaca said.
He had a career in Telecom, which required him to travel a lot for his job. When Acopada retired, he and his wife had extra rooms once their two daughters grew up and moved out of the house.
Then, they decided they wanted to help raise more children.
“I wasn’t angry at the kids. It was just like you’ve been traveling my whole life and now that I’m in college, now you’re going to stay home," David Apodaca’s biological daughter, Deborah Apodaca, recalled.
Now, she’s realized the foster children changed her dad’s life.
“My dad looks very tough and then seeing him soften with these kids was eye-opening," Deborah said.
The 65 year-old says what many of the foster children struggle with most is their academics.
He prioritizes getting them on the right path through encouragement.
“Sometimes you feel like you need to be a superman. You know, but you don’t need to be. You just need to be a person that’s willing to be patient and a good listener,” said David Apodaca
And 15 years later of being a foster parent, David Apodaca says his favorite part is reconnecting with the children he used to care for.
He described, “And they’re saying, ‘Hey Dave, you know I just wanted to call you and say hey, thanks a lot for everything you did for me.. I’m a manager at a fast-food restaurant. Or another person called me and said you know what, I just got a bought 10 acres up here in Idaho!”
Apodaca encourages those with the resources available to be a father to foster children, because you never know what kind of impact you may have in their lives.
For more information on how to become a foster parent, visit https://fcni.org/.