There are times when you first meet someone that you feel an instant connection with them. I experienced such a thing when I met Angelica, a teenage girl in foster care. She needed a family to adopt her, and the foster home she was living in wasn’t going to be able to care for her much longer.
The first day I met Angelica, I took her to McDonald’s so I could get to know her and what she wanted in a forever family. Angelica was open, sweet and told me she wanted to have a mom, a dad and a forever home. I knew at that moment that I had to find this for her. I took several pictures of Angelica that day and printed out my favorite one of her holding her drink and smiling. I kept her picture in my desk drawer as a daily reminder that this wonderful girl needed a home, a family, and a happy life.
I talked to everyone I knew about Angelica. I carried pictures of her around to show to potential families all the time. I just knew there had to be a family out there that would want Angelica to be part of their family forever.
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One day, my supervisor Becca Crook mentioned that a couple named Nicole and Matt Larson had just completed the foster parent training TIPS-MAPP class and were ready to provide foster care. She thought they would be a good match, so I called Nicole immediately and talked to her about Angelica. I sent her my favorite picture of Angelica and set up a pre-placement visit for the family to meet her. During that very first visit, I received a text from Nicole. She said that Angelica was a good fit for their family and they already knew that they wanted to adopt her.
My heart was so happy for Angelica, and after a few more pre-placement visits, Angelica went to live with the Larsons. I went to visit Angelica that first day she moved in, and she showed me a beautiful bouquet of flowers that the Larsons had gotten her as a “welcome to the family” surprise. I just knew this was an amazing family and a great home for this incredible girl. I took a picture of Angelica holding those beautiful flowers and put that photo in my desk drawer next to the McDonald’s picture.
Soon after, Becki Schindler was appointed as the Larsons’ new foster care specialist, but Nicole would still text me every once in a while and tell me how Angelica was doing and how grateful she was that Angelica was in her home. Last month, the Larsons officially adopted Angelica and of course, I couldn’t miss that moment for anything. I attended the adoption finalization and the event was incredibly moving and sweet. I was so honored that I could be just a little part of Angelica’s adoption day.
The day after the adoption, I received a Facebook message from Nicole which included a picture of myself, Angelica and Becki (her current foster care specialist). The post was so sweet and moving, so of course I printed it out. All three photos are proudly posted in my cubicle to remind me that “happily ever after” isn’t just in fairy tales; it’s a reality for many of the families and youth we have the blessing to work with!
Everyone needs and deserves the stability and support that a family can provide. If you or a family you know is interested in adopting, visit our website to meet children in need of a forever home and consider these benefits of adopting an older child from foster care. If you are ready to take the first step toward becoming a foster or adoptive parent, learn more about our foster and adoptive services.