679 Days // Milwaukee Adoption

Judge high fiving and parents clapping in court adoption

I first met Molly and her amazing family when I photographed her for the Beauty Revived - 50 Beautiful Moms Project. (See here for that session.)

She is a truly inspirational woman, mother and friend. Her values and love are a light onto her family and her community.

Mom and daughter looking lovingly at each other.

Molly and Patrick opened up their hearts and their home to Ericka. 679 days in foster care, connecting, nurturing her as a daughter, all while knowing she may not live with them forever. 

I was honored and privileged to attend the monumental occasion of Ericka's adoption. 

Extended family all taking photos of kids with their smart phones

Ericka Lynn Nelson-Pearce is one lucky girl. She has the most loving Dad, Mom and big brother a girl could ever want. I know I learned so much from getting to know Molly, and I asked her to share some of her thoughts on fostering and adoption.

"Foster care is not really for those who only want to adopt, you have to be prepared for the possibility of the child returning home. We decided to foster because we knew we wanted to add to our family, but not in the traditional biological way at that time.  We were hoping to adopt all along but were aware that that may not happen right away.  We were in it to help a child and a family, and if that meant getting them back home, that was great but if that meant making them apart of our forever family, that was great too. "

I asked Molly if she'd foster again. Her response, "In a heartbeat....but my husband would like a little break for a while ;)".

How long did/does the foster process take? How does it compare to adoption? For us, it took about 10 months to become licensed foster parents. After we were officially licensed, we got the call to come and pick up Ericka two weeks later. Traditional domestic adoption can take years...and thousands and thousands of dollars. That was not something we were interested in seeing as how there are so many children in foster care waiting for homes.  

l want other families to know {about foster care is}, it is easier than you think.  A lot of people get scared to foster, say they couldn't do it, their loss would be too much if the child returned home. We say, thats a good thing. You SHOULD love and pour your whole heart into a child. It should hurt like hell if they leave you, because that means you did your job. You gave them exactly what they needed. Fostering is such a blessing, and adoption is an amazing added bonus. 

adoption-rocks.jpg

Pat and I try to live our lives with the following thought in mind, "WHY SAY NO, WHEN YOU CAN SAY YES?" Well, I have no answer to that, but it sounds like a great life motto.

Blimie TComment