When a family welcomes a new child through adoption, it’s not that child alone who benefits. Adoption causes a ripple that spreads love and a desire to help others—through siblings, extended family members, friends, and even strangers.
“Being a foster and adoptive parent has been an amazing experience,” says Ron, father of Isabella, a baby girl with no shortage of charisma. Ron and his wife, Christy, began fostering Isabella shortly after she was born, around the same time Beech Acres began approving foster-to-adopt families. They knew adoption was the path they wanted to take, if possible.
“A lot of people say what a blessed child she is to have us,” he continues, “but she’s been an even greater blessing as an addition to our family. We can’t imagine life without her.”
The couple has two other children, an 11-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. Having a new little sister has enhanced their lives already.
“Both of our kids love her to death,” says Ron. “They’re at the age now that they consider themselves big brother and big sister, and they’re a big help with her. Ciara came home from school the other day, and said they were talking about careers they’d like to have someday, and she said how she’d like to be an adoption attorney. She’s also talked about how neat it would be to foster and one day get to adopt children of her own.”
“The experience has been incredible already, but to see what comes out of this, where it will lead our kids as they get older, is really amazing to think about.”
Christy is also delighted by how the three siblings have come together. “It’s changed our family in an amazing way,” she says. “There’s been zero jealousy. They adore Isabella and they light up when she comes into the room.”
Christy had always thought about adopting. Isabella is the sixth adopted child within their extended family. “It’s always been my desire to help a child in need, to make a difference for a child who didn’t have a good beginning.”
Foster and adoptive families tend to inspire friends and family. Besides witnessing adoption in their extended family, Christy and Ron are close friends with the Bennetts, another family who has fostered several children through Beech Acres and has adopted five. “We started asking them about their process,” Christy recalls. “They said great things about Beech Acres. They felt like somebody was always there to answer their questions and help out. They were there for us when we got started.
There were many times when we called them for advice.” “There are a couple other families at our church who have gone through the process, and there are other Beech Acres families now we’ve gotten close to.
Now we have this whole foster care family.” Now that they’ve gained experience with the foster-to-adopt process, Ron and Christy are only too eager to share with other parents. At Beech Acres, more seasoned foster and adoptive parents get ample opportunity to spend time with newer ones, supporting and showing them the way. But families like this one spread the word in more spontaneous ways, too.
“Yesterday I was in a department story and a lady was talking about how many children there are in this world whose parents aren’t able to care for them. I took that as an opportunity to tell her about Beech Acres and tell her if she ever feels like it’s time to do something to help those kids, that we would recommend Beech Acres,” Christy tells us.
They’ve also spread the word to one of their kids’ school teachers and to other parents of children at their daughter’s dance studio. One such family has just become licensed with Beech Acres and is awaiting their first placement! When people see little Isabella, with her curious expression and irresistible curly hair, the conversation sparks naturally. They’ve become a family of adoption advocates. At Beech Acres, we’re incredibly grateful to our foster parents for their willingness to share and act as ambassadors for our efforts.
“I’m very thankful that we chose Beech Acres to do our foster care training,” Christy says. “I just can’t say enough about how great they’ve been.”
Ron adds, “The exciting part is just seeing what comes out of this, where it will lead our family next.”