Cooley Family – Then / Now Adoption Story

Licensed – October 23, 2015 – October 23, 2023 (8  years)

Original Scheduled Adoption Date: June 28th 2022

Adoption Date: August 2nd, 2022

What’s something you’d like to share with someone considering becoming a Foster Parent?
I would say that you don’t need to be a perfect parent, and there is never a perfect time. We had three young biological children when we got started. We also planned for and had a 4th baby, during our foster care journey. If think you don’t have what it takes… you do! There isn’t a perfect time, just like anything else in life you just have to go for it.
Our adoption date was scheduled for June 28th, 2022. Our family and friends were in town, everything was ready. We went to sleep that night with excitement and anticipation of the adoption of our children planned for that next morning.

In the early morning hours of June 28th, I wasn’t breathing correctly. My husband, Dave woke up and quickly realized I was in cardiac arrest. He did EVERYTHING right by immediately starting effective CPR and called 911. Anderson Township Sheriff’s department made it to me first and the paramedics were close behind. I was defibrillated twice at home before I was moved to the hospital where I was ultimately stabilized. I cannot thank this group of humans enough— they all did everything in their power to save my life. I have a genetic arrhythmia disorder called Long QT Syndrome that can make sudden cardiac arrest more likely— but I was being treated and should have been very low risk, this was just bad luck, I guess. I spent a few days in the hospital, and I now have an implanted pacemaker/ICD so that any possible future episodes can be handled swiftly by the device.

I’m forever grateful to all the first responders and to my family and friends who stepped up to make sure my whole family was taken care of while I healed. I’m lucky to be alive and I’m thankful to have such wonderful people in my life and community.

5 weeks later, on August 2nd, 2022 we adopted two precious children. After everything that happened, we never once reconsidered or hesitated.
There’s never a perfect time… the time is now. Every child deserves to experience love and security.

What inspired you to consider Foster Care & Adoption?
My husband and I both come from big families, and always wanted a big family of our own. We had 3 children at the time and a desire to expand our household. Our hearts were opened to growing our family in other ways, once we started seeing the “Foster Parent’s Needed” sign as we would drive past Beech Acres regularly. Without hesitation we made the call, asked questions, signed up for classes and never turned back.

What was your biggest Fear?
The attachment was always a fear of ours. Just like others, we questioned how we could prepare our hearts for when a child would leave. The classes were powerful with realistic expectations. I remember hearing that it’s important for a child to experience secure bonding. While a child is in your home, you have the opportunity to show them love, security, and structure. Whether they remember you or not, they will never forget the love and safety they felt during a hard time in their life.

How did you talk to your biological children about the journey you were taking?
Our kids were fairly young, and we chose to share the information with them age appropriately. We told them that sometimes parents have a hard time making good decisions, because they weren’t taught how to do that when they were growing up. We told them that while their parents are working on getting better, we are going to share our home with their children. As time went on, we would share more about how sometimes people aren’t able to figure it out and that in those cases sometimes their children need a forever home.

How did Adopting change your life?
It’s been great, because it’s taught us that we have the capacity to love a child that is not biologically ours. We often hear the phrase, “They’re so lucky to have you”. My first thought is, these children are in no way “lucky”. They’ve experienced the unimaginable, and despite the things they’ve faced or seen they love their family. They are not “lucky”. We’re grateful, for the opportunity we have to love them forever.

How have you approached the topic of Adoption with the children you adopted?
The Life Books that Hamilton County gave us made it so great to have the opportunity to share their pictures and stories with them. The books have given us the opportunity to connect them with their story. We know that overtime their questions will increase, and we will share information age appropriately as time goes on. If you don’t have a Life Book, make one. As the child grows, they will be so grateful for those memories, pictures, and milestones.

How did Beech Acres support you?
Beech Acres was there for us with EVERYTHING. We always had someone we could go to for support and any questions. If they didn’t have an answer at that moment, they took the time to find the answer. Beech Acres has been there since day one, as a friend, support, and encouragement throughout our entire journey.