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Foster to adoption | When clear vision follows a long road with a happy ending

The Latos* family represents the best of the Family Spirit community: loving, graceful, patient and deserving.

Like many in the Family Spirit community, the Latos family had known for a long time that they had the capacity in their lives and in their hearts for a child to join their family, but natural conception had not happened for them and over ten years ago they began the process of applying to become adoptive parents.

“It wasn't until we had finalised our last unsuccessful infertility treatment that we were ready to pursue adoption. We closed one door and started down the adoption road. It was challenging, and in the early days involved paperwork, our profile stories, our medicals and interview appointments. But these were also exciting times and we both had this amazing feeling that something precious and special was going to happen. It’s hard to explain, but deep inside us we both knew that we were meant to be parents. Despite its length and challenges, the adoption process was in fact a genuinely positive experience for us.”

In July 2005 the Latos’ caseworker called them with the news that they had been approved as potential adoptive parents.

“This was overwhelming and exciting news indeed; it was the most rewarding feeling. We were so happy, but as we are all very aware adoption is not ever guaranteed. You cannot help but wonder when the phone might ring again, when that special call might come, when that longed-for young person might arrive, or when our quiet but overwhelming dream might come true.”

The Latos family knows all too well that application for adoption is not a quick process, but they displayed a dignity and a patience that humbled all who met them.

“Many years came and went; many holiday seasons passed us by. There were difficult moments and emotions to deal with. Our adoption caseworker remained very constant, regularly checking in and assisting us with procedures and timelines. Every two years we would resubmit our adoption application, medicals, attend appointments and so on... But we were determined never to give up, even as the years ticked past. If anything, our inner strength grew; something deep inside us gave us our inspiration to continue. Our faith and our love for each other would guide us through this journey. We learnt to be patient, we learnt to lean on each other and we continued to remain positive.”

After an unenviable ten years in the adoption pool, the Latos’ caseworker scheduled a meeting to talk about the out of home care (foster care) program as another potential avenue to their dream of becoming parents.

“At this point, we took a moment to stop and really think things through, as we weren't prepared to remove ourselves from the adoption pool after so many years of waiting and hoping to succeed. But we agreed we were genuinely ready to learn about foster care and explore this parallel pathway to creating a family.”

Imagine their joy when in October 2015 the couple received the call to say that there was an 8-month-old baby girl who was deemed a good fit.

“We were shocked, excited, emotional, very happy and teary. There were a lot of nerves and excitement leading up to our first meeting. Our little girl was warm and loving, the perfect bubbly and happy little baby girl. We were so incredibly happy; it was the perfect first meeting. We really connected with this little girl; she has brought so much light and love into our home.”

It has now been over two years since this little girl came into the Latos’ care and it’s been one they describe as ‘the best years of our lives.’ Whilst they have not met their daughter’s birth mother yet, they have created a photo album with her foot prints on the cover and have included a photo of her nursery room. They have provided this to their caseworker to pass on to the birth mother. “We are completely open to meeting our little girl’s birth family and committed to building a positive relationship with them, which we pledge will continue throughout our little girl’s life.”

We are very grateful and humble with the experience we have had with the foster care pathway. There’s been great guidance and help along the way. We have a very bright and happy future with our little girl.

When asked what advice the Latos family has for other parents considering long term fostering or adoption, they were passionate but firm. “Never give up on love; never give up on your dreams. Never give up on wanting to be a very present and loving parent. Never ignore your inner instincts, because for us everything makes sense now. Our little girl was meant to be a big part of our journey; the long wait makes sense now. We look forward to creating amazing memories together and starting our journey to legally adopt her.”

Are you interested in finding out more about fostering or adoption through Family Spirit? Click here to learn more or call us on 13 18 19.

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the family