Kentucky — For nearly two years, siblings Hailey, Jayden, Alexis and Jase lingered in foster care after experiencing abuse and neglect. They longed for a permanent place to call home where they could grow up together.
That’s when Jayden bravely reached out to someone he trusted — his fifth-grade teacher Justin.
“I was at school, and I was on my Chromebook,” explained Jayden. “I wrote to Justin … I sent him a message, and I said I had to be adopted.”
After Justin talked with his wife, Kasey, the couple decided to adopt all four children with help from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® program.
Through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Foundation supports the hiring of adoption professionals, known as recruiters, who are dedicated to finding permanent families for children in foster care who are too often overlooked. That includes teenagers, children with special needs and siblings. These recruiters begin their search within a child’s familiar circle of family, friends, neighbors … and teachers.
Nancy, a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services/Department for Community Based Services, was integral in the adoption process for Hailey, Jayden, Alexis and Jase, carefully considering the children’s wishes and needs.
“Nancy was our glue in the entire process,” said Justin. “I don’t know that we would be where we are today with our kids had it not been for Miss Nancy, because she hung right there with us.”
And most importantly, Nancy was able to keep the siblings together.
Kasey and Justin share about their children:
Now, with the stability and love of a permanent family, the siblings are enjoying life, experiencing new things and creating traditions, like family dinners and beach trips.
“Before I was adopted, I felt nervous,” shared Hailey. “After I got adopted, I felt good because I have a forever home. I don’t have to worry about moving or anything.”
Jayden feels the same as his older sister, adding, “It feels amazing because I know whatever I do, my parents will support me in it.”
While Hailey, Jayden, Alexis and Jase have the support of a permanent family, there are still thousands of children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States. If you are interested in learning more about growing your family through adoption, download our free, step-by-step guide.