July 14, 2020

Special Needs Adoption


Most people go into fostering with the hopes that they can help children in need. Imagine falling in love with three little girls and committing to being their forever family. This special needs adoption through foster care is exactly what happened to the Wilkins family.

Becoming Foster Parents

In 2011 Paula Steve Wilkins and her husband decided to open their hearts and home and become foster parents. This decision came as their oldest daughter graduated from high school and their youngest daughter was in the 10th grade.

The family signed up for training, survived the home study, and passed all the security checks with flying colors. Finally, on July 2nd, 2011, the Wilkins officially became licensed to foster. Within hours they received their first placement, a beautiful baby boy.

A New Plan, Adoption

Later that month they received their second placement, a tiny 3lbs baby boy. The family instantly fell in love with him. After 4 months in their care, they found out that the parents had terminated their rights. His caseworkers asked the Wilkins if they wanted to adopt him. With an enthusiastic yes, they were granted private guardianship on August 30th, 2013.

Open Home- Hope Hearts

The Wilkins continued to foster babies, each one leaving with a piece of their hearts. In January of 2015, they received a call asking if the family could take in a sibling group of two little girls. The oldest was 3 and the second was only 5 months. Eventually, another sister was born and placed in their home at 7 months.

After 2 years the children’s biological parents terminated their parental rights. Now the Wilkins faced a tough decision on whether or not to adopt all 3 girls. The children all have special needs and the Wilkins were in their late forties. They prayed on this special needs adoption and came back with a why not. Why not the Wilkins?

Clearly, they could not refute this question and on April 29th, 2019, the Wilkins officially grew by 3. Shortly after the adoption, they gave up their foster license.

Paula often jokes, “this is my circus and these are all my monkeys.” Foster care can and does change lives. Once a family of 4 now thanks to adoption the Wilkins are 8 people deep.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, we want to thank the Wilkins for sharing their special needs adoption with us. It is so important to remember that families are diverse and we should not shy away from adopting or fostering children with special needs.

For those in the process of adopting through foster care. Foster Love - Together We Rise offers free adoption day photography here.

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