Meet our adorable August Child of the Month—Eric:
At 2 pm on January 17, 2017, I received a placement request for an 18 month old little boy. We were advised home studies were being completed for possible family placement and that he was currently in the burn unit and had been there 2 weeks; therefore, I’d need to pick him up from the UMC burn unit. I immediately panicked unsure of what to expect, he was only our 2nd placement. He was the most handsome, big dimpled, almost mute, barely walking little boy, and he was terrified of us!
Eric struggled with social anxiety and hid from the world—hiding under his jacket or blanket—for months. Months and months went by and his wounds, both physical and emotional, began to heal. Little steps became big steps and even bigger achievements for him. His case flopped back and forth and round and round without us knowing any outcomes. 486 days from the day we literally brought our little man home from the hospital, we added to our small army. On May 17, 2018, we adopted Eric, joyfully surrounded by many of our friends and family and his Nini (bio-grandmother). She continues to be a very active part of his life and it has been a blessing having her still standing up to support him in his new journeys.
-written by Eric’s mom Heather
📸 Tristan Jones
Introducing out July Child of the Month: Kora!
I met Kora when she was 12. She was placed in a local residential treatment center (RTC). I was an activity teacher at her school and during my year and a half program there, I absolutely fell in love with her. Kora asked me more than once if we would foster her, so when I left that job, I immediately went to the RTC associated agency and we were licensed 4 months later. Two days before school started in 2016, they brought her home. We struggled with adjusting to becoming a family. My sweet child had been hurt by adoption before, and her attachment trauma made it almost impossible for her to believe we would be there for her no matter what. We worked for a year and a half with her, through family therapy and local services, to build that trust and attachment. Throughout that time, we continued to foster other teenagers at the specialized level. Our kids struggled, as any child at that level would, but we worked with them through the behaviors and emergencies that came up. We worked with CPS to ensure that placements weren’t disrupted by force. In May of 2018, after multiple personal conflicts with our agency, we were notified they would be closing our home. We were broken. Our family therapist had just given us release to begin adoption work with Kora again. We desperately met with other agencies, explaining the situation, but it was difficult to find another agency to work with quickly.
We were heartbroken, and Kora was terrified she was going to have to leave. We worked with CPS and the case worker agreed to leave her in our care as an unauthorized placement. We thought all would be well. Three days before Kora’s 15th birthday, we got a call. Our CPS worker was unable to allow her to stay. The day after her birthday, CPS moved her across the state to another home within our original agency. We were not allowed phone calls or contact with Kora, though the goal was still for us to adopt her. During the next 5 months, we heard from our daughter sporadically when she could borrow phones from friends. Her new foster parents changed her medications, against her will and with no regard to the almost two year work we had done to get her stabilized. Finally, we completed licensing with a new agency. Our new director worked tirelessly with CPS to help them realize that the best option for Kora was to come back to us. On December 20, 2018, our baby came home! After three months, we received consent from CPS for adoption! Kora got her forever family. We are still working through therapy to rebuild the attachment and trust that was ripped away from us. Kora is still afraid that CPS will come take her away again. Her traumas were magnified over this last year, but we are so thankful the adoption is finalized, and we have her forever.
📸 Tristan Jones
Introducing our June Child of the Month, Christian Broadus!
On March 23, 2017 I received a phone call asking us to take a 3-week-old baby boy. Happily, we said yes! At the first court hearing, it looked as though this sweet baby would only be with us a short time. The judge reset the hearing for a week and a half later, and though it seemed they were planning on placing C back with bio mom soon, the judge agreed to keep him in care just a bit longer. Shortly after, bio mom requested a month off from her 3 visits per week! This is when we felt little C just might be a forever babe! This break was prolonged and eventually bio mom missed over 100 visits, court hearings and settlement conferences. After 3 attempted final hearings, and a family member that had come forward only to back out again, the judge proceeded with the final and terminated rights. This was appealed and a jury trial was requested… talk about nerves! The day of the jury trial came. On my way to court I received a phone call from our lil man’s attorney – mom was willing to sign the relinquishment paperwork! Ten months later, on April 2, 2019 Christian Ryan was officially a BROADUS!
From Terri, proud mother
📸 Tristan Jones
We would like to introduce our May Child of the Month: Bubba!
This sweet boy came into our lives at 5 days old. We immediately fell in love with those big brown eyes! He was his birth mom’s 10th baby and she only had custody of the oldest, who actually lived with grandparents at the time. He was removed after testing positive for methamphetamines. Our plan with foster care was always adoption, and when we met this baby we were very hopefully this would end in an adoption.
He remained in the hospital for a few days after birth to be monitored for any drug withdrawals and none were seen. Praise the Lord. When we came home with Bubba, our lives changed forever for the good! We enjoyed the baby snuggles and smiles. His birth mom never showed up for visits with this sweet boy, though. As the weeks passed, our caseworker said that she was looking for a foster home for Bubba and his teenage sister to be placed together. Over the next few months, we never knew if we would get the call that they are coming to get Bubba. That definitely was the most stressful time during our journey with Bubba. Once we were told that CPS did not have any luck finding a home to take a teenager and baby, CPS attempted to facilitate FaceTime calls between Bubba and his sister. I will never forget our first call. Bubba was only 7 months old so there was not much communication but it was a way for sister to see her brother. I think she enjoyed seeing him, but she did not continue the calls.
Nine months into our foster care journey with Bubba, parental rights were terminated. It was a bittersweet day because his mom and family were really missing out. Bubba is the sweetest and cutest boy ever! Once rights were terminated there was still the 90 day waiting period where family could intervene so even though it was headed more towards adoption nothing was for sure final yet. The next 90 days really went by quickly, but it felt like forever. On March 1, we were officially in the adoption unit! Bubba, our sweet boy, was officially adopted on April 12. The Lord definitely was with us through it all! We are so grateful that we were led to foster care and our sweet boy!
We would like to introduce our April Child of the Month: Miles!
Miles has been in foster care since he was 2 days old. His birth father was violent towards his older siblings, and his birth mother did not provide protection to the children. With his older siblings already removed and placed in adoptive homes, Miles was also removed as soon as he was born. He was placed with a loving family until he was 9 months old. When it became apparent Miles would also need an adoptive home, he came to live with us, just before he turned 10 months old.
After 17 months without the stability of a permanent, loving family, he is now adopted! He and his five-year-old brother have already developed a strong brotherly bond, joining forces against their parents quite often. 🙂
-Liz and Steph
📸 Tristan Jones