Texas — At age 6, Kenya was placed in foster care due to abuse and neglect. After lingering in care for nine long years, she worried she would never have a permanent family.
“At one point, they said that I was going to max out in foster care, and I didn’t want that,” shared Kenya.
Fortunately, Kenya’s journey changed when she was referred to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® program and met her recruiter, Chelsey.
Through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Foundation supports the hiring of adoption professionals, known as recruiters, who are dedicated to finding forever families for the longest-waiting children in foster care. Using an evidence-based, child-focused recruitment model, these professionals begin their search within a child’s familiar circle of family, friends and neighbors and then reach out to the communities in which they live.
As Chelsey got to know Kenya, it was clear she was longing for the stability and security of a permanent home.
“She was like, ‘When am I going to see you next? When’s our next visit?’ and it was exciting for me to see that she wanted permanency,” reflected Chelsey.
Finally feeling like she had a trusting adult in her corner, Kenya gave Chelsey a piece of paper that included the contact information of several family members. Kenya had kept it hidden for more than a year.
Using that information, Chelsey was able to get in contact with Kenya’s aunt, Lekeitha.
“I had no idea she was in foster care,” said Lekeitha. “It was very shocking, and it was heartbreaking to know that that’s where she was, and no one knew.”
With Chelsey’s help, Lekeitha adopted Kenya in 2022.
“I never imagined that I would have ever adopted a child. When I found out my niece was in foster care, I just felt the urge and responsibility to step up,” shared Lekeitha. “Now Kenya doesn’t ever have to worry about being away from us and has a family that she can rely on no matter what, forever.”
Today, Kenya is full of confidence, joy and excitement for the future. She plans to attend college to become a veterinarian.
“My adoption has changed my life a lot,” said Kenya.
Considering opening your heart and home as a foster or adoptive parent? Download our free, step-by-step guide filled with information to support your adoption journey.