Press release from Eliada:
Just this month Eliada has begun preparing to add adoption services to our continuum of care. We have always supported children and youth in our foster care program who were getting adopted by their foster parents, but we will soon provide the adoption services ourselves. We are thrilled to be adding this service to our continuum of care.
One of the first adoptions about to occur is with parents Katie and Brian. After getting married, they realized they couldn’t have a biological child. Katie says, “For so many years you have this idea of what a family is supposed to look like. You have certain expectations. We’ve taken time to deal with feelings of it not working out the way we expected.”
In fact, it took 6 years of grieving before a feeling of acceptance swept over them. They knew they were ready to embark on a journey in which they built their family in a new way. They had already reached out to Eliada about their interest in adoption, and once the feeling of acceptance took over, Katie says they got a call within 3 days from Eliada about a potential pre-adoptive placement. It felt like it was meant to be.
In fact, Brian recalls, “When we first began working with our social worker at Eliada, I was amazed at how quickly the grief seemed to turn to hope. The optimism we were greeted with was incredible.”
Katie and Brian doubled up on the time they spent in foster parent training and within 3 months completed all the training needed. Katie describes the time they were in training by using a When Harry Met Sally quote. “…when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” They knew they were ready to adopt and expand their family, and they were ready for this chapter of their lives to start.
Katie and Brian are currently doing shared parenting with another set of foster parents for a 7-year-old and 8-year-old siblings set who they will soon adopt. These siblings have been in the same foster home for 3 years. Through shared parenting, Katie and Brian have been able to foster the children on the weekends, with the support of Eliada and the other set of foster parents.
The weekends are filled with gardening, cooking, playing music, and riding bikes.
Katie says the experience of fostering these two children is “heart-expanding in a way that is hard to describe.” She talks about a real commitment to the kids. She also talks about the moments she’s experienced “baby brain” and the “labor” she’s gone through to overcome the challenges of this experience. These are words that often describe the experiences of biological motherhood, but they are equally as relevant and valid for Katie.
Brian says “Becoming a father to these children is like nothing I’ve experienced before; this past weekend I gave my future son a piggyback ride, and I could have carried him forever.”
In talking to us about this success story, Katie and Brian both made a point to stress the changes in thinking that need to happen around foster care and adoption. Katie says “people have a hard time wrapping their head around a different experience.” They hope society can soon show compassion for the experiences of all types of families.
We are so proud to be helping Katie and Brian on their journey to parenthood. We know that they will experience incredible success. We’re glad to be a part of their village. As Katie says, “this is a whole new story we get to write together.”
You can support youth in foster care and pre-adoptive placements at Eliada! Click here to donate today.