Adoption Awareness Month: Getting a Call
During Adoption Awareness Month 2016, DCS will publish essays and stories by Tennesseans who have adopted children who have been in foster care. More than 300 children are in full guardianship of the state of Tennessee and in need of a forever home. There also are nearly 8,000 children in foster care who need safe and loving people who can support them and their families heal and attain permanency.
By Teresa Lewis
Mom to Ryan, 19; Morgan, 13 and Alyssa, 3.
We had prayed about fostering for years and it never seemed the 'right' time. We got a call from my cousin about his granddaughter in DCS custody. He asked if we would foster.
We told him we would try. We had an expedited home study & she was placed with us. She was a 6-month-old baby in a carrier. I remember being so scared. She had been crying on the ride, so I knew she was scared too.
I rocked her for the first time and promised her I would do everything I could to help her. We didn't set out to adopt, but it worked out that way and we wouldn't change a thing!
We had the best workers! Her biological parents had really great support as well. Her mother asked at one of the last court proceedings what I thought of the 'situation.' I thought before I spoke and prayed for God to give me the right words. I responded by saying ‘You all asked if I would take care of her and love her and I've done that to the best of my ability. I'm willing to do it for a lifetime if that's what I need to do.’
It takes a leap of faith. The children need someone that they know will love, support and fight for them. They all deserve to be loved. All children deserve to be allowed to be children. Not caretakers, mistakes or inconveniences. They deserve to be a priority.
Everyone asks weren't we afraid to get hurt. After much soul searching I explained to my family: ‘Yes, we may get our feelings hurt, but she deserves to be loved. If we love her and have to give her back, we know she's still loved regardless of where she is.’ I'd rather love and be hurt by separation than to have a child that's never been loved.”
To learn more about adopting a child who is in full guardianship of the state of Tennessee, please visit this How to Adopt page.