Lexi and Nick were placed in foster care due to neglect, as their family of origin battled drug addiction and other issues. For five years, they longed for a permanent home. Fortunately, the siblings were adopted with help from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® program and generous supporters, like you. This is their story.
Lexi remembers the day she and her older brother, Nick, were placed in foster care after being found alone in the motel where they lived. “It was confusing. I was scared. We didn’t know where we were going,” Lexi shared.
Nick had major health issues — made worse by years of neglect — and no access to medical care. At age 16, he weighed 79 pounds. Lexi had assumed the role of parenting Nick.
“I was taking care of my brother a lot,” she recalls.
Thankfully, Lexi and Nick’s journey changed when they met their Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter, Caitlin. She worked to keep the siblings together.
In Caitlin’s search for Lexi and Nick’s forever family, Matt and Laurene, of Ohio, stood out. They had already raised four biological children and wanted to open their home to teenagers in need. Their family motto: there’s always room for one more at the table.
“They felt like a family right away,” says Caitlin.
Laurene shares that Caitlin was a huge help in advocating for Lexi and Nick and supporting their adoption journey. “The thought of having them separated would break my heart,” she adds.
With the love and stability of a forever family, Lexi and Nick now have the foundation for a brighter future.
“I don’t know where Nick would have landed coming out of foster care without being adopted,” says Matt. “Now, he’ll be a productive member of the community…and always have somewhere to go back to with people who really care for him.”
No longer worried about caring for Nick or when she might have to move again, Lexi, now 17, is enjoying new experiences. She took gymnastics and dance classes, joined show choir and performed in three musicals…with her new family in the audience. Now, she is thinking about college and dreams of one day having a big family of her own.
“I think being adopted is the most beautiful thing you could ask for because you get to start a new life,” Lexi says. “Now that I’m adopted, I feel as if I can be whoever I want to be.”
This story was featured in the Foundation’s 2020 annual report (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020)