Family matters. You never stop needing them no matter where you're at in life.
Three years ago, Katie and I became foster parents. We both work in child welfare as a Family Case Manager and in a leadership role. We wanted to give back to children in the child welfare system in a different way. We decided to adopt through foster care and recently finalized the adoption of our son Gavin.
Gavin is a gifted child. Being part of a forever family allows him to express an ease with life. He articulates verbally and in pictures that we are his forever family and he doesn't ever have to go live with another family again. It has given him strength to find himself. He is in the first grade but now reads at a third grade level. He LOVES to do multiplication times tables! He is also becoming more socially adaptive to his classmates and teachers. He LOVES sports, too! It's his way of releasing energy and a very successful award system for him. He knows doing well in school will lead to Saturday football and baseball games.
Adopting Gavin has strengthened our entire family. It has brought great joy to my brother and sister to become an uncle and aunt to him. He is the first child on my side of the family and he has really brought us together. He has brought Katie's family closer to us too, as Gavin now has cousins that he never had before coming into our life.
Most importantly, Gavin brings his two adoptive parents together. We have learned and hope to one day say we succeeded in providing him a sense of belonging that his whole life can revolve around as he grows. We know it takes love, strength, consistency and communication every day. We want Gavin to always see that within the family and believe he does!
I am blessed to work with children and families every day, however, it is a much different experience becoming a parent. Every child deserves enduring, life-long relationships that strengthen them and allow them to live and imagine everything they can become. My greatest wish for him is that he always feels that everything is possible because we love him and support him.
Adopting Gavin from foster care and having a chance to be part of a young child's life in the role of a parent is really nothing short of a miracle in my eyes."
- Andrea, Gavin's Mom