Mention the word adoption to Chloe and Amelia Williams and their faces light up with joy. Adoption offered hope to them when all seemed lost. It’s safety. It’s closure after many years of uncertainty. It’s love.
Fourteen year old Chloe shares, “Adoption isn’t just changing your last name and getting a new home. It’s about your new family and the love they have for you, to cherish you, not just for a short period of time, but for the rest of your life.”
Twelve year old Amelia explains her feelings, “The day of the adoption I felt relieved. Seven years of my life hanging in the balance was going to be over. I was super happy.”
For seven years, Chloe and Amelia lived torn between two worlds. One foot in a world they were born into and the other foot in the foster care world due to circumstances beyond their control.
The sisters experienced tough situations at an early age. Chloe recalls cooking for the two of them by the time she was six years old. They chuckle at the thought now, but Amelia caught the microwave on fire attempting to heat a dry washcloth to treat an earache. More unsafe and difficult situations at home led the way for the girls to become foster children in the home of Kris and Wayne Williams.
Kris and Wayne wanted to open their home to children and families who needed support and encouragement. Kris explains, “We wanted to provide kids with a safe and loving home for whatever amount of time it took to be reunited with their family. Adoption was not out of the question, but was not the reason we became foster parents.”
It was not until their youngest child was in high school that she and Wayne decided to move forward with foster care. She shares, “We had talked about it for several years and I think like most people we let fear get in the way. We kept finding excuses not to do it. We finally decided to trust that God would guide us through this journey and to take those first steps.”
Kris and Wayne are thankful they made the decision. Trusting God with the journey, the very first placement became more than they imagined, “Our home opened on December 21, 2010 and we agreed to take our first placement that day. The first two girls that came into our home happen to be the two girls we adopted on August 27, 2018.”
In a time when the six and four year old girls needed someone to open their home to them, the hearts of the Williams family found something they never knew was missing. Kris confesses, “Until that day, I thought our family was complete.”
Kris and Wayne have two sons, Ryan and Kyle. The family of four seemed complete. Little did they know not only would the girls fill a void they never knew they had, but God had something else in store for them. The adoption of the girls would be the second adoption for the Williams family. Little Dallas came into their lives as a newborn and officially became a Williams after eight hundred seven days in foster care.
Dallas’ adoption took approximately two and a half years, but the girls’ wouldn’t officially become a Williams until after seven and a half years.
The difficult journey caused Chloe to feel torn between two worlds. She loved her birth mother, but knew going home was not the best situation for her or Amelia. She guarded her heart from disappointment and pain, “Before being adopted I kept a distance from my foster family because I didn’t want to become attached and then get moved.”
The process for Amelia and Chloe turned into a lengthy ordeal. Amelia remembers losing hope, not believing the adoption would ever happen, “I lost all hope whenever we had court. They would keep postponing it and it wouldn’t stop.”
The family did not see progress with the case until it moved to McCracken County courts. After years in limbo, the girls just wanted it all to be over. They longed for a permanent place to call their own. They wanted to officially be known as a part of the Williams family.
They recall the day they learned of the adoption, “They surprised us. They called us to our room. They had a poster that said, ‘How would you like to get adopted on Monday, August 27, 2018?’”
The news of the adoption renewed hope in Chloe, “When I heard we were getting adopted I was over the moon and let myself open up to love again.”
Kris recalls, “On the day of the adoption, there were so many emotions. It was a very special day shared with all the people that had been a part of their journey from the beginning. The girls had been a part of our family for so long already, that day it just became official.”
Chloe remembers the day as full of emotion and a day of closure, “Adoption day was a happy day. It was the day I officially knew I could never be pulled away from my family again. It was a peaceful day, but very emotional for everyone there. Seven years and now forever, it was so much to take in.”
Chloe and Amelia are grateful for Kris, Wayne, and their bonus brothers, Ryan and Kyle. As for Wayne, both girls agree he is everything they needed and ever wanted in a dad. Chloe shares, “I was excited about having a dad I could go to.” When asked what makes him special, she couldn’t choose, “It’s everything about him.”
Simple things others may take for granted about their dad, Amelia values deeply, “He’s there. We can talk face to face and we can give hugs.”
As for Kris, the girls agree she is merciful and kind-hearted. Amelia expresses Kris’ loving nature, “She keeps everything we give her and all of our school stuff no matter if it’s important enough. If we give her flowers, obviously they are going to die, but she picks the petals off and keeps them in a jar.” Chloe adds, “Kris, she knows me better than I know myself.”
Chloe and Amelia feel deep gratitude for Kris and Wayne. For Kris and Wayne, Amelia says, “Thank you for everything you have done for me. How happy I am today wouldn’t be possible without you.” Chloe agrees and adds, “I love you.”
This loving sentiment of a twelve and fourteen year old is only possible because a family opened their home and hearts to children who desperately needed a safe and nurturing home. Kentucky has many children in similar situations to Chloe and Amelia’s early life.
Foster homes are too few and the need is too great. Kris and Wayne encourage you to open your heart and take a step of faith, whether it be foster care or adoption. Kris states, “If you are considering it, go to one of the informational meetings and find out the facts. There is a lot of false and negative information out there. Pray about it and if you feel this is what you are being led to do, then don’t let fear stand in your way. There are so many children needing a home and someone to love them.”
For those who fear attachment and the pain of saying good-bye, Kris shares, “People tell us there is no way they could do it because they would get too attached. You should get attached. That is what they need. They need someone who is willing to open their heart and show them true love. It does hurt to say good-bye, but nothing compares to the pain and hurt these children have went through and have had no control over.”
For the foster child who has lost hope, Amelia wants to encourage you, “You have to hold on because there is hope, so don’t worry. I know it’s hard, but believe me rough seas eventually make for smooth sails.”
Chloe encourages, “I am not going to sugar coat it. It is going to be a hard process. It will test your patience, but in the end it will all work out the way it is supposed to.”
For more information about foster care and adoption, go to https://prdweb.chfs.ky.gov/kyfaces/.
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