Lisa and Michael decided they were interested in adopting a foster child but did not know where to start. After noticing a Children’s Bureau billboard and giving our agency a call, the rest was history. Read their interview with Children’s Bureau to hear more about the journey that led to them welcoming three siblings permanently into their family.
CB: How did you find Children’s Bureau and why did you choose to foster/adopt through this agency?
After months of consideration, we decided to adopt a foster child, but we did not know where to start or even who to ask. The bureaucracy at other agencies was daunting, and we needed someone with the time and the knowledge to guide us through this life-changing journey. Where could we turn?
One afternoon, I was driving down a street in the South Bay and happened to notice a billboard showing a child’s bright shiny face. It was as if she was saying “I’m here and am ready for you.” The words said something about adopting a foster child. It gave a phone number and the name of an agency, “Children’s Bureau.” I did not catch the phone number, but I could not forget the name of the organization. Nor could I forget that face. When I got home, I mentioned this to my wife and got on the internet to learn more about Children’s Bureau. A phone conversation with a responsive, caring, informed adoption professional followed, and the rest is history.
CB: Tell me about your experience with Children’s Bureau. How has the organization helped you on this journey?
It has been an exciting, challenging, wonderful, terrifying, life-changing, heart-wrenching, and joyful journey. Children’s Bureau has been there every step of the way. There has always been someone there who has the specific experience and the compassion to engage with us and our children and help us find the answers and the resources to meet our needs.
We have established relationships with Children’s Bureau’s amazing staff that feel more like family than adoption professionals. They not only helped us get through the adoption, but they have stuck with us (for 12+ years now) and to help deal with some of the post-adoption challenges that arise with kids coming out of the foster care system.
CB: Tell me about the children you have adopted.
We adopted a sibling set of three, two girls and a boy. The girls were 4 and 2 years old when they joined our family permanently, and the boy was 1. Keeping them together was never a question for us, and we have experienced the bond these children have with each other. Had they been separated; they would have had a hole in their hearts without knowing what it was from. They are smart, challenging, engaging, and loving kids who have blessed many lives, including ours, and have much to give the world in the years ahead.
CB: How has becoming an adoptive parent changed your life?
Our older children were either already out of the home or several years ahead of our “little ones,” so we were able to re-experience child-rearing. We had a chance to enjoy all the precious moments of the kids growing through their toddler, elementary, and now teenage years. It has been a challenging yet rewarding experience that has required us to grow and become better parents and better people. The memories and relationship building has been tremendous. Our lives are forever changed.
CB: What advice would you give other parents who are considering foster/adopting?
If adoption is in your future, there is no need to look any further than our surrounding county. So many local children need a family. If you are wanting to “make a difference” with your life, consider adopting from foster care. You could be saving generations. It is a high-energy and eternally rewarding experience. Be sure you get the help of an organization that can guide you through this process. Children’s Bureau did it for us. Then roll up your sleeves, buckle up, and get ready for the best ride of your life.
CB: What concluding thoughts would you like to share?
If you have questions, do not be afraid to reach out and talk to a professional. Children’s Bureau is a great place to start. The greatest fear is always the fear of the unknown. Let them guide you to the answers so you can make an informed decision on what could be one of the best choices of your life.
*Interview is from Spring 2017