August 17 will always be an important day for Missy and Chris Ewing and their children. They adopted their daughters, Lilly and Cici, on the same August 17 date, five years apart, and in the same courtroom. “It’s a special day of creation for our family,” Missy says, “It’s sister day.”
Eight years ago when their biological sons, David and Tim, were ages 6 and 3, the Ewings decided they wanted a larger family. They took classes at Lilliput to become certified and met their Lilliput social worker, Cassandra Collins. They started looking for a daughter.
“We knew from the first day we met Lilly in the park, she was a part of our family,” Missy says. Age 4 when she came to live with the Ewings, Lilly had been removed from her biological mom two years earlier because of neglect stemming from her mom’s drug abuse. Adding to the little girl’s trauma, her foster parents were both diagnosed with cancer, and her foster mother died. “Lilly had suffered a lot of broken attachments,” says Missy.
People frequently ask Missy and Chris about fostering and adopting. “If you are in Northern California, I tell them, Lilliput is the way to go,” Missy says. “I absolutely would not have been able to get through this process without Lilliput. They care about our family. Cassandra is my translator and my guide through the system. Lilliput is our family’s advocate, not just during the adoption process, but post-adoption too. I love Lilliput.”
Read Their Full Family Sory here at www.lilliput.org/blog/love-first-sight-ewing-family-story.
Monica’s case was referred to Lilliput, a part of Wayfinder, for assistance from the Resource Family Approval–Kinship program during the adoption process. “Resource parents don’t have a lot of support,” says Martin Steele, Monica’s social worker. “So that’s a big part of what I do.” We provided Monica with resources for supplies and equipment, like car seats. Martin helped Monica with adoption paperwork and information about the court process.
Monica wanted to adopt both boys, but Maleekiah’s father stepped up for his son. Gavin struggled with the trauma he experienced while with his mother. He didn’t speak until he was nearly 4 years old. Now age 6, he’s a talkative boy who loves superheroes.
Monica adopted Gavin in September 2020.
Read about her families full journey at www.lilliput.org/blog/lilliput-families-grandmothers-adoption-journey.
We knew early on in our relationship that we wanted to have kids and began exploring adoption not long after we were married. We were interested in adopting school-age siblings and after adopting our first sibling set, Kevin and Alexis, we were delighted when the opportunity presented itself to us again. Nikko and Jonathan, brothers, joined our family not long afterward. We wanted to get out of the city and move our family to the country where the children could have the opportunity to raise animals… bunnies, horses, goats, chickens, dogs and cats. It has been a great experience for all of us. It was initially an adjustment bringing our children into our family. There were so many things that they were exposed to at such young ages, and things that we took for granted that were new to them - like teeth brushing and family meal time. We took all the parent training classes we could since we had never been parents before. Since we’ve adopted, we have continued to attend classes with other parents because we have found them to be so valuable. We work hard to allow each of our children to be their own best version of themselves and we couldn’t imagine our lives without them.
I’d raised my daughter Shahlah, who was now in her 20’s, and felt like I would enjoy raising another teenager. One day my social worker introduced me to a beautiful child who was 12 years old and had been in foster homes the majority of her life. While we were getting to know each other, I was introduced to her older brother Anthony. We hit it off and, together, we decided it would be great if I adopted him. He has asked that we not show a picture of him since he doesn’t want people to know that he is adopted, so I respect that. I can tell you that he is a handsome young man who looks like he could be my biological son, and he is doing very well in school and has a strong relationship with my daughter. As you can see, I am very proud of the fine young man he has become. I continue to keep my relationship with his sister as a loving adult in her life and we will see if at some point she too wants to be adopted. I feel so blessed to have met these children and learned quite a bit through the parenting classes. It’s also given me the opportunity to be a resource to other families who are considering adoption. My advice to you if you’re thinking of adoption is this – it's not easy but it is worth it!