Family: Joseph & Alexandria, Lake County, married for 5 years
Joseph and Alexandria learned about children from foster care who are available for adoption from a family member who works in social services. Until that time, they were unaware of the number of children in their community who were in need of loving families to care for them. After attending an orientation, it weighed heavy on their hearts to give children a safe, nurturing, and loving home. Once their eyes were opened to the situation, the couple considered fostering with the intention to hopefully adopt.
“My husband and I both come from large families and his father was adopted. Before marrying my high school sweetheart, we discussed our aspirations of having a family which included adoption,” shared Alexandria.
The day after they received their license in early December 2014, they received their first placement of two brothers, Nathanial (5 years old) and Gabriel (3 years old). They were very excited. It was just a couple of weeks before Christmas, and they would be able to spend a lot of time with the children during Christmas vacation.
Alexandria continued, “With Christmas two weeks away, our tree lit up the living room. We soon found out by the joy on their faces, that the boys loved Christmas lights. It is a memory of mine I will never forgot—both boys in the backseat of our car grinning and blaring, ‘Christmas lights’!”
To their surprise, about three weeks later they discovered that there were actually four siblings. The boys brother and sister twins, Ashlynn and Coby (6 years old), were living in another foster home. It was important to the family to keep the children together, so they requested placement of the twins to reunite the siblings. They were successful and all of the children were back together under their roof.
“Our children were comforted by their siblings’ company so much that their personalities really started to shine. We were soon called Mom and Dad by choice. It was heartwarming for them to open up to us which allowed us to create a strong bond,” said Alexandria.
Before they knew it, they couldn’t imagine life without the children. They understood that foster care was meant to be temporary, but when the children’s caregivers couldn’t safely reunify with their children, the children became available for adoption. The Alexandria and Joseph completed the paperwork and went through the adoption process. Everyone was helpful and communication was good. They were able to finalize the adoption of all four children on National Adoption Day in November 2015.
The children have a lot of nieces and nephews and everything is going great! The children fit in, are adjusting very well and no longer show signs of the trauma that they experienced previously. They are discovering new experiences beginning with celebrating a happy and healthy holiday. In 2015, they celebrated their first Christmas together with all four children.
“It’s exciting just to spend the time with them to show them what a healthy family is like and make happy memories,” shared Alexandria.
The family wanted to share their story so other people will become more aware of what is happening in their community and to help recruit other adoptive parents.