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Janeris’s Foster To Adoption Story

The Beginning

All foster-to-adoption stories begin at different places. For our friend Janeris and her family, it began with doctors telling her not to get pregnant. Adoption became a possibility until learning that there is a true need in the foster care system.

Janeris shared, “when we realized the huge need in the foster care system. My husband and I knew our home would be perfect for that. We came into the classes telling everyone we were here to ‘foster to adopt.’ Soon, we realized how negative that phrase was, the kids just needed us, period. We learned quickly that none of this was about us and our needs.”

Despite a common myth that the foster care system is difficult, Janeris describes her experience as great. She says, “I’ve had great case managers and guardians for my kids. I co-parent well with their relatives. And for me, foster care has been interesting.”

“In 2013 we got our 1st placement. He went home 2 years later. Since then, we’ve had over a dozen kids and 2 little girls became our forever daughters.”

Foster To Forever

Janeris and her husband adopted their youngest daughter on July 13, 2016, and the eldest on July 13, 2017. The adoption process was very different between the two girls. Janeris explains, “we waited for their parents to do what they had to do. Our youngest had her parent’s rights removed when she was just 4-5 months old so a few months later, she was ours. But our eldest daughter stayed with us for 4 years without permanency because we were trying to see if an aunt would be able to parent. In the end, the home she had been in for 4 years was the home everyone decided she should stay in.”

She describes their adoption days as, “The best days of our lives have been July 13th, 2016 and 2017. It is the day we could finally breathe and know that our girls had a permanent family. Watching our girls do things that we didn’t genetically give them are also very cool to see. They have talents and abilities that definitely don’t come from us and learning more and more about who they are, apart from who we’ve made them be, has been such a joy.”

Taking Action

Since the adoption of her daughters, Janeris found herself more involved with her local foster community. “I’ve become an adoption photographer. I photograph adoption ceremonies and document beautiful family relationships. I know first-hand how children like mine feel an inherent need to belong. They are different and they know it. When they see a family portrait on the wall with them in it, it proves to them that they are wanted. No one understands that better than a foster mom in tune with the needs of her kids. Now I’m able to provide those priceless gifts to children in South Florida. This has transformed me as a person and has truly transformed my business.”

One of her favorite local organizations, in Hallandale Beach, Florida, to volunteer with is called A Sweet Chance. A Sweet Chance helps give Sweet 16 parties to teen girls in foster care. Janeris shares, “it is so rewarding to see a girl come in broken and leave empowered because we gave her a gorgeous gown, a photo shoot, and party.”

Janeris concluded, “I feel blessed to be able to help children of traumatic situations feel confident in knowing they are loved. Adoption and foster care have truly opened my eyes to empathizing with people more than I ever have before.”

Advice For Those Looking Into Foster Care

Janeris was kind enough to leave us with the following advice for those considering adoption through foster care. “My advice is don’t be scared to adopt from foster care. Whatever is for you will be and you have to be ok with what isn’t. And don’t have any expectations. Things you think could happen might not. Just love and all things will work out.”

Thank you to Janeris and her beautiful family for sharing their story with us. If you are considering adoption through foster care, we offer free photography for adoption days through our Framing Forever program. Click here for more information. https://www.togetherwerise.org/framing-forever/

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