Tonya’s message of hope

Posted on May 6, 2020

Tonya spent six long years in foster care before she was adopted at age 12 through the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® program in North Carolina. She bravely agreed to share her story because she wants to inspire hope in other children who are still waiting to be adopted.

Tonya was born to a family in which she suffered years of abuse and neglect. As she lingered in foster care, she began to give up hope of ever being adopted.

“I didn’t think that I would have a family, or anyone who would want to be with me,” she shared.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruiter, Tiffany, dedicated herself to finding the right family for Tonya.

“Tonya does not let her trauma or her time in foster care define her,” Tiffany says. “That speaks to who she is inside.”

Through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, adoption professionals, like Tiffany, work to find loving, permanent homes for children waiting in foster care. These recruiters use a child-focused recruitment model that has been proven to be up to three times more effective at serving youth in foster care who are most often overlooked, including children with special needs, siblings and older youth.

In 2017, Tonya was adopted by Kimberly and Brian Porter of North Carolina. Tiffany supported the family every step of the way.

“Tiffany is like family,” Kimberly shared. “Seeing how passionate she was about the cause, it made us as passionate as she was.”

Brian recalls, “The day that it became official, I was happy for Tonya that she didn’t have to worry anymore. She knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she was going to be in our home.” 

Tonya, now 15, will always remember the day she was adopted as the most special day of her life.

“I’m glad that I have a family that actually wants me and loves me as much as I love them,” she said.


Tonya’s story has a happy ending. But more than 125,000 children are still waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States. You can help. Give now to find a loving, permanent family for every child.


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