For two brothers, a foster family became their forever family
Carrie and Anders had been looking forward to having their boys make the transition from foster care to forever family. On March 10, Lucas and Jaxson officially became their sons. The couple shared their adoption story with us.
When we first learned that we had been matched with our boys, we were in shock. We were happy and petrified, excited and shaking, and smiling and crying all at once. We wanted to meet them, bring them home, and buy them the entire toy store that same day.
The next three weeks were a whirlwind. Anders gave final notice at his job since he would be leaving to be a fulltime dad. I made arrangements with my work to take leave for a couple of months so that I could spend time with the boys.
We met the boys for the first time on March 12, 2016 when we visited them at their foster home. We pulled up, and saw their little faces watching us through the front window. As we walked up to the door, we heard Lucas yelling excitedly, “Our parents are here, our parents are here!”
While we waited for foster mom to answer the door, we all got a few moments to look at each other through the panes of glass. Jaxson went and got his family book that we made for him and held it up to the window to show us. Lucas did the same and started flipping through the pages to show us the stickers he had added. We held our hands up to theirs through the glass window.
This was a perfect introduction. We had stressed over what would be the first words we should say to our kids, and how those first few moments together should go. In the end, it worked out perfectly. Nothing needed to be said.
We spent those initial days enjoying the time with them, learning their quirks and personalities and absorbing details about their likes, dislikes and routines. We snuggled and loved them and they soaked up all the extra attention. A year later, it seems like we’re still in that same state, and it is a nice place to be - learning and loving together.
People seem afraid of adoption like it is a risky thing to do. In reality, carrying a pregnancy to term and successfully giving birth is also risky. In some ways, adoption gives you more control over finding the right fit and situation that you’re prepared to handle, and helps match you with kids whose needs most closely match your abilities and strengths. When people express fear about adoption, nearly all of their concerns are just as applicable to biological children, and yet they somehow see that as being different. It really isn’t - once you love a child, you love them entirely regardless of whether their DNA matches your own.
Even those who had reservations about the idea of adoption have been happy to see how quickly and strongly our family has grown together, as though it has always been this way and was truly meant to be. It sounds cheesy, but it is totally true - nothing has ever felt as natural as loving our sons.
Our boys spent a total of 1115 days in foster care. Jaxson is now 3 1/2 years old and had spent 90 percent of his life so far in foster care. Lucas is 6 years old and had spent 49 percent of his life in foster care. We are so thankful to replace “foster” with “forever” in all of our titles. While it certainly doesn’t erase the pain and heartache of the past, it gives us a strong foundation upon which to move forward. We can finally all rest assured that we truly are family ever after.