CALEDONIA, Mich. — There are roughly 13,000 kids in foster care in Michigan with 300 who still need an adoptive family.
November is National Adoption Awareness Month, so we wanted to introduce you a local family sharing their journey of love and adoption during a pandemic.
“Them coming into our lives impacted us in a positive way."
Two years ago, right before Thanksgiving, Latricia Trice found out she had a little cousin in foster care with another sibling on the way. She and her husband Robert had an opportunity to step in and help.
“And that started the journey and literally three weeks later we had A’Rayah at our house,” said Robert laughing and hugging A’Rayah as she sat on his lap.
She was two at the time and the bonding started immediately.
“When she showed up here, like she literally was a different person within a week and even everybody at the agency when we would go for visits and stuff like that they would ask, ‘what are you doing with this little girl? She’s not the same little girl that we knew.’ She just needed love,” he said.
Her little sister Olivia came straight from the hospital at just three days old. The family stressed the importance keeping them together.
“And then for them they’re like best friends. I mean they’re so so tight, they love each other, they’re so close and I think right now yes we see that, but even later in life when they become adults and they’re able to have each other throughout their whole life, I think it’s crucial,” said Robert.
Their little boy Caleb, already part of the family, was six when he got two new sisters. Latricia and Robert experienced three miscarriages trying for their second child. When that didn’t go as planned they opened up their hearts to adoption.
“Children just need love,” said Robert. “They just need you to be there. They don’t need you to be perfect, they don’t need you to have all the answers, you don’t have to do everything right, they just need you to be present and to be consistent.”
The Caledonia family started by fostering the girls. Nine months later their biological parents had their rights terminated. They finalized their adoption in April with Samaritas and Lutheran Adoption Services, during a pandemic via Zoom.
“So for some people it may be a Zoom situation if they’re adopting during a pandemic or in person when they’re able to, but once you hit the adoption process it goes pretty quickly,” said Latricia.
She says for parents interested in adopting it is a lot of paperwork. There are home visits from the agency and safety checks to make sure everything is good to go. But in the end, the extra love to give and receive is all worth it.
“And they keep us busy they keep us active, nonstop. But you know what, what we realize is it’s not about being perfect, it’s about having love,” she said.
Both parents say their own upbringing helped prepare them for this. Latricia’s parents adopted her cousins. Robert had eight brothers and three sisters and helped take care of them.
If you’d like to learn more Samaritas and the adoption process you can click here.