The Lemley’s Adoption Story
David and I have fostered for 10 years in 3 diﬀerent states. We wanted a family and couldn’t have children so we decided to adopt and give a loving home to a sibling set so they could stay together.
So when we moved to California we got the process started right away. We attended the county orientation and started our paperwork through them. But once we started the PIP class, we heard about TLC and decided that we would much rather do the process in one step instead of the two steps that the county required. So we met with Denise from TLC and started the process. It was rather easy since we had a completed homestudy from Washington that was still valid. Once the process was over, we were added to the adoption book and told about the next adoption meeting run by Suzanne. After that meeting an adoption social worker from Chico met with our TLC worker and said that he was interested in us for his sibling set - three brothers! We were very excited. We read about the boys and then were invited to the Sacramento picnic where we met the boys. They were very sweet, kind and respectful. The next day we met with their worker for the disclosure meeting and heard all about their past. In the end, we said yes.
We started our visits the end of October 2012, and by the middle of November the boys moved in with us. The transition went very smoothly. Our boys were legally free and had no parent visits. We fostered our six months, and signed our Adoption Placement Agreement the end of May and ﬁnalized in July 2013.
This adoption would not have gone so smoothly if not for the support we received from TLC and our worker. And we are very grateful for them both.
It’s been almost a year since the adoption was ﬁnalized and things are still going great. Our boys are joys. They are wonderful young men. Yes, we have our issues now and then, but they are children and they are boys. And our life has been changed forever.
We do have contact with the bio-family (our choice). Both bio-mom and her mom and bio-dad and his mom. We feel like the boys are better adjusted because of it. We don’t see them often, maybe once a year. The bio-family feels great knowing the boys are happy and healthy.
We would highly recommend TLC. It is a great place ﬁlled with very caring and understanding people who are very helpful and supportive. We are now gong back to be matched with a young girl or sibling set of girls through TLC and I have no doubt that TLC will make that process smoother for us.
Our case with the boys’ adoption is not the norm. Every match is diﬀerent and brings its own challenges with it. But every child is worth the challenges. We plan on adding two more children to our family through adoption . Our lives went from David and I, to a family of 5! There are no words to express the gratitude we have for our children and what they add to our lives. We are blessed. The boys add so much joy and adventure to our lives. We can’t remember when they were not in our lives.
TLC is great because of the people that work there. And I tell everyone who tells me they want to adopt to go to TLC.
- "Being able to adopt Christopher through TLC was such a blessing for us. The help and assistance we received from TLC was invaluable. Christopher is happy being adopted because he felt safe and secure through the process."
- "We are all totally enjoying David’s new status as "fully adopted" son. It’s so great to say—"we adopted him, he’s our son"—instead of, "We’re adopting him, we hope to ﬁnalize soon." It’s like I can let out my breath now. I didn’t like being in limbo. I’m so happy to go into the holidays and into forever knowing that no one can take him away. It’s a great feeling!
Thanks again for being part of our miracle. People like you, Jen, and Susan and Denise and Lisa Rohe all made this the best experience we could have had. I totally appreciate how much you all care for your foster and adopting families! I’ve referred four more families to you guys since I last saw you! I rave about you to everyone. David’s speech therapist is one of the people. She’s already adopted from China, but she wants a boy now, too. She was very impressed with TLC and you and David. Anyway, I think you guys oﬀer a wonderful service to the community and I hope TLC is around forever."
- "The day we met our children is indelibly etched into my heart and mind. I can see Denise, Sydne, Charlene, Lisa, and our children, Serra and Anthony, every time I think about it. I
am so proud we were chosen to be their parents. The adoption social worker, Sydne, and Denise believed in us enough to entrust those two little lives to our care. I am honored beyond words. I have only felt this happy a couple of times in my life and this was the top. I will never forget what everyone, and especially Sydne and Denise, has done for us. I will be happy to tell anyone who wants to listen about how great it is to be a foster-adopt parent. I think I understand now why you social workers love your jobs so much. There is nothing like the love of a child. It is pure and honest and it just makes everything else seem so insigniﬁcant. When I walk in the door at night and those two run and jump in my arms it just makes me melt. Keep doing your important work with all those children. You are so good at it because your heart is squarely in it for keeps. And, I cannot tell you what a great job I think the former foster mom did with the children before we got them. You are all our angels."
-“Loren is doing awesome…he loves calling me mommy…he has grown almost 2 inches with me…he is in a 3 and 4 year old pre-school at my school…his language has gone to needing speech, to not qualifying for speech, to advanced in speech, and now he says his name correctly…when I ﬁrst got him he didn’t know how to play with other children and now he has a best friend and plays with anybody….I am just in love with him….my family is also madly in love with him….I swear mom buys him something everyday….he also has many new cousins, aunts, and uncles that just love him….and the best of all, is that he is a very happy little boy….thank you with all my heart….he is more than anyone could ever ask for…i am sooooooooooooooo lucky….”
-"Father’s (and Mother’s) Day hold special meaning for me now … our daughter has blessed us with holding that Dad and Mom title. As she closes out being a 7th grader, we have had the opportunity to experience our ﬁfth year of celebration. Parenting is a very cool thing. Whether you are (or aren’t) parents … if you somehow manage to touch the lives of children in a positive way … have a wonderful and safe Father’s Day!"
- Terri Wickwire
-Here are the photos from our adoption day.
We are now an oﬃcial family…wow…I can’t believe it…Motherhood is more challenging than I ever imagined..but more rewarding than words can explain. Something only a mom can know…and I ﬁnally know….
You can see that my nose is a bit red, the emotions got to me when the judge pronounced that we were oﬃcial.
We love you all ….Thanks so much to everyone.
-It has been three years already! Jameson is becoming quite the little human with all kinds of opinions and interests. I asked him what he thought about turning three today, and he responded with, " My birthday costume is broken. Happy Birthday Guys! I am three for the Happy Birthday time."
I will think of the small group of people who helped us get our boy every year on his birthday- thanks again for the work you do.
-Belle and The Sweeneys
-We were truly fortunate to have TLC as our support network and guidance ad we embarked on the journey in foster to adopt our daughter. We felt like TLC and was always a phone call away. Our agency workers were always helpful and felt like friends of our family. We hope to work with TLC again to adopt a second child in the near future.