Humans of Adoption – Alicia’s Story of a Newborn – A Let It Be Us Exclusive Series
- Foster Parent Recruitment
- November 9, 2020
The Let It Be Us Humans of Adoption series tells different stories and perspectives on what it is like to adopt a child from foster care. You can read these stories on our blog (here) and on our social media channels.
During National Adoption Awareness Month we will be working to help you understand and navigate the complications of foster care and adoption. For those who are interested in learning more, consider attending one of our informational webinars on foster care and adoption at www.letitbeus.org/events.
We got the call that it was a temporary placement, just for a couple of weeks. After I heard “newborn,” I stopped listening, thinking about everything we’d need: a crib, diapers….. So when the case worker showed up with a newborn and an 18 month old, I was confused. Who was this other child? Next thing you know we’re caring for two little boys. Two weeks turned into months and when it became clear they wouldn’t be reunified with their biological mother, we adopted them. It took 3 years.
Overnight we had three children under 4 years old: the two boys from foster care and our daughter by birth. We worried so much about how our daughter would adjust but she immediately started introducing the boys as her brothers. And years later, when our youngest son – brother to our older two – joined us, the children started asking if they could share a room with him before we had a chance to explain that he’d be joining our family. I’ve always said if they are living under our roof, they are family and I guess that rubbed off. When people ask me how many children we’ve fostered over the years I tell them, “we took in these three and they never left!”
The last one wasn’t exactly a placement. She was living with a different guardian, and volunteering at the nonprofit I started to help kids in foster care, called Second Bridge. She asked me to mentor her, so she’d often be at our house for homework help and then would stay for dinner. Her guardian worked late, so she started spending the night too. After a while, we talked to her about living with us permanently, so now she’s part of our family. I like to say “the paper doesn’t have personality,” you’ve got to get to know a child first. She’s outgoing and fun, but very serious about school. She recently got an 89% on a test, but worried it would bring her grade down to an A.
It’s not a traditional journey, but we’re a family just like anyone else. The kids understand that so much faster than the adults – you don’t have to explain that we’re family, we just are.
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Let It Be Us is a 501(c)(3) Child Welfare Agency licensed through the State of Illinois. Our programs and initiatives significantly change outcomes for the children we serve. We increase the number of Illinois licensed foster homes through recruitment programs and events, we educate new foster parents and directly refer them to agencies via our experienced licensing coaches, we manage a database of open and licensed homes to serve children in emergent need and those who are challenging to place by working with caseworkers and investigators to make faster and stronger placements. We also offer direct support to children the children foster care that we serve. We operate through grants and donations. We operate solely in Illinois. Learn more about our programs here.