In June 2019, we visited Massachusetts to meet with Maya and Hannah, sisters who were adopted through the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® program. The girls bravely shared the incredible pain and neglect they experienced before adoption because they want other children to be adopted too.
“I remember my birth parents were so drunk one time they passed out behind the wheel,” Maya shared, her hands trembling. “I was 10. There weren’t floors in the house where we lived. Our birth dad would jump in dumpsters to find broken presents for our Christmas gifts. I had to be Hannah’s mom and sister.”
“She kept me alive. I would have been scared if we had been separated.” — Hannah
For six years, Maya and Hannah bounced between foster homes and living with their birth parents. Their lives changed forever when they met their Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter, Laura.
At first, Maya told Laura that she wanted to be separated from Hannah because she didn’t want to impact Hannah’s chances of being adopted. Laura said no. She assured Maya that she would find a family that wanted to adopt them both. “And she did,” Maya said with a huge smile. “I knew that I wasn’t a troubled kid. I know I’m here for a reason. I just hoped someone would take that chance on me.”
Maya and Hannah were adopted by Dana and Barbara in 2017. The couple had raised three sons, but felt they still had more love to give. Their youngest son, Nathan, was still living at home when Maya and Hannah joined the family. “Laura will forever be a part of our family,” Barbara said. Maya was quick to chime in, “I love Laura. I have no idea what would have happened to us if she hadn’t found us our family.”
Today, the sisters, ages 16 and 11, are thriving together in their forever home. “Before we adopted the girls, Hannah had never spent an entire year in the same school,” Dana said with tears in his eyes. “But this year, she has friends and participated in the school play…I was so proud to see her on stage.”
Maya enjoys drawing, which she said helps her to process her emotions and heal from the trauma she experienced. “I’ve started dance classes,” she added.
Maya has perspective beyond her years. She summed up her journey by saying, “Foster care is like a war. The foster homes are little battles. Adoption is like the white flag that goes up at the end of the war. It’s time to settle down and rebuild everything that was destroyed. Thank you to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption for giving me and my sister a mom and dad who love us and a second chance for a bright future.”
While Maya and Hannah’s story has a positive outcome, our work is not complete until every child has a permanent home and a loving family. If you are interested in learning more about foster care adoption or have considered how you can grow your family through adoption, download our free, step-by-step guide.