Submitted by : Heather Demerchant

Our adoption story started almost 10 years ago. After two years of marriage we didn't have any children so we decided to look into adoption, after waiting for almost 5 years we had our home study done and at that time we were asked if we would consider fostering. After much thought we decided we would, but we knew that it had to be something that was separate from adoption we couldn't go into fostering thinking that every child who came into her home that we might adopt. I knew I couldn't help reunify children with their families if I had anticipation of them joining our family. We loved fostering and in the six years we had 10 placements.

Four years ago a beautiful teenage girl moved in with us. She was an amazing girl who was excelled at everything she did. Over the 3 years she lived with us we grew to love and she became part of our family. When she went into guardianship we made a promise to her that we would always be here for her no matter what. At Christmas that year she made a PowerPoint presentation of what she wanted for gifts. The last slide she asked for something we couldn't buy her. "Our last name". We were overjoyed and excited that the 3 of us would be a family.

We started the adoption process but it very quickly started coming unraveled. She started displaying behavior that she had never displayed before. Then said she had changed her mind about adoption and eventually caused a huge fight and left our home. We were devastated and heartbroken. At the same time the other 3 children in our home went into guardianship. We made the decision that we would help transition them to an adoptive home and then we were done. Done fostering and done pursuing adoption. We questioned ourselves as parents and felt like huge failures. In our grieve we started making plans to move on with our lives as just a couple. Over the next few months we just enjoyed our time with the kids, there was no pressure.

Over time we noticed that our hearts were healing, we started feeling confidence in ourselves again and that we could love again. When it came time to transfer the kids to an adoptive social worker we hesitantly asked if we could be considered to adopt them, not sure if the department would allow us after what had happened earlier that year.

After updating our home study the department said YES!!! There hasn't been a day that we haven't felt blessed, with tears of joy since. The adoption was finalized just over a month ago!!!!! Our children are amazing. They have been through much but live everyday full of joy and happiness. All 3 have struggles and we will be there helping them through those struggles. We will do it as a family. We still grieve and hurt over the adoption that didn't happen. But we believe that everything happens for a reason and things work out the way they are meant to. Our children healed our hearts and we are so excited for what the future holds for our little family ♥️