It all started one day while I took laundry into a local Laundromat. As I was waiting, I noticed a foster adoption flier on a cork board. I started to think about the idea of adoption. It kind of slipped my mind until I started noticing the fliers everywhere—local grocery stores, library, town hall, and church. Then I started to seriously consider it. I brought the idea up to my husband and son. They welcomed the idea!
My husband and I went to a local open house. There we decided to sign up and attend thirteen weeks of licensing classes. The classes were very informative. It was also nice meeting other prospective foster and adoptive parents. The classes were lead by our licensing worker Nancy, the social worker who also completed our home study. She was a wonderful resource during the process and helped with all questions. We started our classes in April of 2006, and received our adoption license in October of the same year. Then we had to sit and wait patiently.
As some time passed, we kept wondering when the call would come. We prepared a room and all supplies necessary. Then on a Friday in February, the call finally came. Nancy informed us of a possible placement for a five-month-old baby girl. Our family grew so excited!
On February 20, 2007, our daughter was placed with us. Our new life together demanded a transition, but within a month it all became routine. Our daughter filled a special place in our family. During this exciting time we found out we were expecting a baby as well! Seven months after her placement our son was born.
Fourteen months successfully passed, as, on April 14, 2008, the adoption was finalized. To celebrate this most wonderful day, we invited all our friends, family, and social workers to Norwich Town Hall. We packed the room in an effort to share our special thoughts. After the official ceremony, we invited our extended family to a special party to celebrate the day!
We especially felt grateful to our daughter's worker Christina. During the fourteen-month process, she went above and beyond to attend to our daughter's needs. Having her and our support worker Nancy, made this new volume in our lives possible. Throughout the adoption process, we also received further information and clarification from our CAFAP liaison Alana. So many special individuals offered their support! Our experience couldn't have been more positive.
Today we are a family of five. Our daughter has grown and thrived, and we could not imagine our lives without her. Adoption made our family possible.
My husband and I had just completed the classes to become licensed foster care parents when we got the call for our first placement. The social worker asked if we would take a three year old girl. Yes, Yes, Yes. I didn’t even think about all of the questions you’re supposed to ask when you get "the call". I was too excited. She arrived within a few hours and seemed quite happy playing with our biological two year old daughter. It wasn't twenty minutes after the social worker left that I received a call from the biological mother of this little girl, our first foster placement. She introduced herself and wanted to know if the child was there yet. My heart almost jumped out of my chest. I didn’t expect to talk with a parent so soon. I wasn’t sure what to say. Truthfully, I was terrified that this woman was going to make trouble for my family. But this was not the case at all. This mom was terrified that her child had been placed with strangers. She was right, we were strangers. And I would’ve felt the same way.
That night I held this little girl and rocked her to sleep. The whole time I held her I couldn't help but hear the fear in her mother's voice. As time went on, the trust between the biological mother and I grew. I supervised visits, at first in public places and then in my home. The little girl’s mom did everything possible to get her child back. They were reunified three months after her child was placed with us. My family and I still have contact with them and see them quite often.
In my opinion, this is what foster care is all about, helping the family become whole again. I am thankful my first experience being a foster parent was positive and successful. Now my family has a special place in our home for teenagers who need a stable, loving family. I hope others can learn from our experience and take a chance on a child in need.
On a cold winter day I met a small broken boy who showed me once again the healing power of love, and why I have done foster care for the past 23 years. A call came through the Department of Children and Families hotline about a small boy that needed a home. He would only be temporary as I am at capacity, but I was able to take an emergency placement. I picked Wyatt up at the hospital late in the evening and learned how to care for him. He was just 3 months old but already had twenty broken bones, some old, some new, but twenty nonetheless. He weighed eight pounds and wore his skin like an old baggy, saggy, ill-fitting suit. His eyes were a beautiful blue but dark and vacant. Although he had been medicated and didn’t seem to be in pain he whimpered as if he were nervous and frightened. When I got him home my other children came and looked at him in amazement, not only at his size or the tiny cast on his arm, but that someone could hurt this small pathetic little bundle. His first bottle wasn’t taken in rapid gulps but more or less uncertain little slurps. He awoke in the night and ate and I would catch him studying my face. Morning came and he looked around at his new temporary home. He swung in his swing, ate and slept, but something was changing. His eyes were softening and his little mouth was daring to smile. He was bonding and learning to trust. We told him we loved him, we talked softly to him, and we held him and loved him. My three year old whispered to him, “I’m not going to hurt you. I am just going to pet you and give you your binky.” The other children helped hold his broken arm up so it didn’t flop next to him while I changed his diapers. His diapers were difficult to change with broken legs to work around. With nourishment came strength and he started sucking his fingers. He sat in a baby seat on my center island in the kitchen and watched us hustle around. His eyes followed me as if to say, “I love you too.” The kids would stop playing, peek in at him and say “hi” periodically and he would give a tiny smile in return. By day four he was leaving us and going to his new foster home. He left a different boy. His face had already started to fill in. His eyes were a shiny blue. He smiled with ease and his whimpers were now small baby raspberries and cooing sounds. Love was healing baby Wyatt.