This blog post is going to be much more personal than our normal posts. Delk and Tomlinson has begun taking on adoption clients. Our Associate Attorney, Katie Hoyt, will be handling these cases. She has a special motivation to see children permanently placed with loving families. Katie’s brother was adopted. In this post, Katie will tell the story of her family’s experience with the adoption process:
My parents were married in 1985 and planned on having multiple children. Unfortunately, when I was a toddler, my mother found out that she was unable to have any more children. Thus began their journey through the adoption process.
I was seven years old when my brother came home, but growing up we have both heard the story so many times that I feel comfortable in describing the process.
My parents worked with troubled youth through the Department of Human Resources (DHR), both in group homes, and administratively. The process began with them going to the DHR to be placed on a foster parent/adoptive parent plan. This required a home study and some classes. Back then, DHR had a list of approved organizations to complete the home studies required to adopt. These organizations required home evaluations and classes that my parents attended. The whole process took about a year.
Once approved, my parents were asked to describe the child that they would be willing to adopt. My parents were not difficult, they simply wanted to grow our family. Their only requirements were that the child be younger than I was, and that the child had not been sexually abused. They did not care what race or ethnicity the child was, nor did they shy away from children with disabilities, or children who had suffered some other form of abuse. They were prepared to take almost any child into our home and raise him or her as my sibling.
During this process, I had no idea what was going on. My parents didn’t want to excite me and have it not work out for some reason. However, at some point after they were approved and placed on a waiting list, I can remember them sitting me down and having a conversation about it with me.
I don’t remember what was said exactly, I only remember that I walked away from that conversation extremely proud of myself. I believed that I, at six years old, had just convinced my parents to get me a little brother or sister. Of course, that worked out for everyone. My parents knew that I liked to be right and win an argument, even at such a young age. I later convinced my baby brother that he was all my idea.
My parents patiently waited for a call that there was a child who met the very broad criteria. Even with so few wants, the waiting went on and on.
Meanwhile, a friend of my father’s boss mentioned that she had recently taken a friend of her daughters into her home. The friend was struggling to raise a three-month-old baby boy and had mentioned placing him for adoption if she found the right family.
My father met with the baby’s mother. From that meeting, the biological mother of this beautiful baby boy, decided that she wanted to meet my mother to decide if these were the people she wanted to raise her child. Both of my parents met with her and the baby’s biological father. The two of them decided that my parents were supposed to be their baby’s parents. The biological parents and my parents went in search of attorneys who could help them through this process. My parents did not mention any of this to me. This baby was a miracle and an answered prayer, but they were unsure if it would really come true.
The parties involved were able to find representation to help them through the legalities and finalize the adoption. My parents brought home the most beautiful baby boy and introduced me to my baby brother. He is seven years younger than me, but he has always been my big-little brother. We may not be blood, but he has and will always be my brother. We share the same bonds, experiences, triumphs, inside jokes, protectiveness, and memories. We are siblings, and I could not love him more.
The road to finding my brother was filled with highs and lows for my parents. The waiting was torture, for my mother especially, but in the end, that waiting led my family to my brother. He was definitely worth the wait. He has enriched all our lives and turned into an amazing man.
I want to help our clients find their forever families, whether that is through adopting a step-child, a child you have yet to meet, or another family member. We will also be ready to represent any parents who make the selfless decision to place their child for adoption.
If you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office at (334) 819-4810.