We’re re-sharing Damien’s story for National Adoption Month! We have an exciting update coming this Friday! Stay tuned! 

This story was originally shared on June 15th, 2018

1,599 days.

That is how long Damien was in foster care. Last fall, he was officially adopted. “It’s cool to have a permanent family,” Damien said.

The road to Damien’s forever family has been a long one. As a transgender youth, his circumstances were unique, but his needs were typical; a strong, loving, engaged family. After spending over 4 years in foster care, Damien found just that with the Holleys. The foster care team at Beech Acres Parenting Center works diligently to match the right family with the right kids. “We knew we had found a good fit,” Director of Foster Care and Adoption Jessica Thompson said. “This is a family.”

For the Holleys, Damien came at just the right time. Just several days after they were licensed. “Damien was my first placement, about eight days after I was licensed,” an excited Sharity Holley exclaimed. Sharity and Ronald Holley, as well as their 5 children, welcomed Damien into their home with open arms and open minds. The Holleys were inspired to become foster care parents by a desire to make an impact in a kid’s life. “We wanted to help kids know they can do anything,” Sharity said.

At the time of his placement, Damien was quiet, sad and filled with anxiety. Typical teenage emotions, exaggerated by his time spent in foster care. The Holleys opened their home and their hearts to Damien, showing him love and being intentional about the time they spent with him. The Holley’s also focused on Damien’s strengths of perseverance, kindness, and humor. “He makes a decision and sticks with it. Even with setbacks he just starts again,” Sharity said.

 Beech Acres Parenting Center supported the Holley’s throughout their entire journey. Sharity was familiar with Beech Acres thanks to some parenting classes she had taken here. Fostering through our agency made sense because of the quality support we provide to our families.

“Becca, our Beech Acres worker, is always available. She answers all of our questions and reassures us on our cases or choices,” Sharity commented. Damien is thriving with the Holley’s and continuing to discover who he is…more on Damien’s journey coming soon.