Taboada Family: Adoption Awareness Month

During Adoption Awareness Month 2016, DCS will publish 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.

Love and Structure

The adoption of siblings Andrea, James and Mario was made official with a quick stroke of a judge’s pen.

It took barely a moment and then it was done, briefly masking the reality that creating this new and official family wasn’t swift or easy.

“You’re mine,’’ their father, Rosendo Taboada, said hugging each of his children.

There were congratulations and hugs all around in the Sumner County court room of Judge Joe H. Thompson, where the adoption took place. DCS staff were present to celebrate with the family they've helped unify.  

Luz Marina and Rosendo Taboada have cared for 80 children during their five years as DCS foster parents - from newborns to teenagers and teen moms and their babies.

Andrea, James and Mario arrived in 2013. The plan for them was reunification with their birth family, but two years later, the permanency plan changed to adoption. The Taboadas, having loved and cared for the children for two years by then, made the decision to adopt.

“We spoke to them a year ago about adoption, so they have been our children for a long time,’’ Luz Marina said on the official adoption day. “Now we can say “We are Taboadas.’ ”

The couple, who has three adult children and two grandchildren, are natives of Colombia and were inspired to foster by a friend who was a foster parent. They were relieved to know their English as a second language wouldn’t keep them from foster parent training, so they signed up and brought their English/Spanish dictionaries to classes.

Much to their parents delight, the youngest Taboadas have been learning Spanish and enjoying Colombian staples like empanadas and patacones, which are thickly-sliced fried plantains.

For Luz Marina, who was raised by a grandmother and then raised her younger siblings, supporting birth families and caring for children in foster care is a drive and a natural part of how her family always has operated, welcoming whomever needed support.

As foster parents, she says, the family focuses on providing children with warmth, love and routine.

“We get them involved right away when they arrive. We have a set time for eating together. They set the table, help me cut, chop. And they feel part of the family. We have structure,’’ she said. “The first week can be a crisis, the second week is better. It’s love and structure.”

Learn More

To learn more about adopting a child who is in full guardianship of the state of Tennessee, please visit this How to Adopt page.