Four Siblings – Alisia, Bradley, Cody, and Emma – had been through a lot in life but through it all, at least they had each other. They came from an Overland Park home in Kansas. The marriage of their biological parents failed early then substance abuse and neglect followed.
When the siblings found out that they were to be taken away from their home they didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. On the one hand, they would be leaving the hell that they called home, on the other, they would likely be separated. They knew that the chances of them all (aged 17, 16, 15 and 11) ending up in the same house together were pretty much one in a million.
Then Couple Who Changed Everything
Christa Dubill on TV posted on Facebook:
“Meet Bradley (16), Emma (11), Alisia (17), and Cody (15).
They’ve had a rough childhood. They were abused and neglected…there are heartbreaking details I’m choosing not to focus on today. Because today is about a bright future.
When they went into foster care 2 1/2 years ago, they wanted desperately to stay together.
Keeping them together in foster care was going to be next to impossible. There just weren’t many people who could take in four older children at one time.
Finding a family to ADOPT all of them would be a miracle.
But today, a miracle happened.
Please help me wish a huge “Happy Adoption Day” to these amazing children and their new parents (officially) Eric and Phyllis Watson.
“I don’t want (their past) to be a bitter thing. I want them to let it go. And to learn from it. None of us can choose the things that happen in our lives sometimes, but it doesn’t have to define who we are. And I want them more than anything to know that.” – words all of us can live by from the woman who just became a proud new mom, dedicated to loving these four amazing children.
A day after Phyllis and Eric Watson of Gardner had received their licenses to become foster parents (with the potential to adopt) an agency called with their first case for them: four siblings seeking a home where they could stay together.
Eric Watson said:
“We were thinking one foster child at a time. Maybe two? We weren’t thinking four at once.”
After thinking about it for a few days the couple decided: “bring ’em on”. They arranged to meet the siblings – and once they did, they immediately clicked. They instantly knew they didn’t want to let these kids go.
Susan Bustamente, the children’s biological grandmother, said they always were well-behaved kids, thanks to big sister Alisia.
Grandma Sue said:
“She’s been a mother to those kids since she was three years old…They’ve had a hard life but they’re strong.”
Two and half years later, the family made the adoptions official.
Phyllis Watson, their soon to be mother, answered a simple “yes” to all the adoption lawyer’s questions in court:
“Do feel you’ve developed a mother-child relationship?”
“Have you the financial capacity to provide a proper home?”
“Do you understand there are no give-backs here?” (the final question being asked with a smile.)
Moved to tears, Judge Kathleen L. Sloan said:
“I order this packed courtroom to give the Watsons a standing ovation.”
Everyone present erupted in applause!
Happily Ever After
The newly made parents built a larger house to hold everybody. They bought a bigger car for trips to Culver’s Restaurant — where they all ate on their first day together.
Case worker Kiersten Stolxenberg of the adoption agency KVC Kansas admitted:
“It’s rare to see kids in the system, especially teens, find this perfect of an ending.”
Phyllis works at an optical lab and Eric is the youth director of Faith Baptist Church in Olathe, where the children attend school. “I really believe, honestly, that God’s hand has been all through this process,” he said.
According to officials, had the Watsons not taken them in, the children would surely have been split into separate foster homes. Alisia would have aged out of the system and may have been left on her own. Now with the support of loving parents, she has quite different plans: College, then someday marriage, and perhaps boys and girls of her own. “Yeah,” she said. “I can definitely imagine my dad walking with me down the aisle.”