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EARLY YEARS: Pandemic’s impact on adoption isn’t all negative

Adoption Experts say more time at home has allowed foster and adoptive families to bond
Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 5:54 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Kristina and Beth Hawse adopted sisters Danielle and Destiny. Now, they’re expanding their family.The couple is fostering two boys, with plans to adopt them, too.

While the world has had to hit the pause button on so many things this year, what hasn’t slowed during pandemic is kids coming into foster care.

“And so the foster care side of things, they have had a steady case load in supporting and providing safety and home for our kids ,” says Sadie Steele, an adoption specialist with DePaul Community Resources.

In Virginia right now, there are five thousand kids in the foster care system. DePaul Community Resources is busy training foster parents, and locating homes for kids.

“COVID has also meant court proceedings that free our children for adoption have been delayed. Courts were shut down for a period of time in the beginning. Courts are now opening back up, so we’re starting to see proceedings happening,” says Steele.

She adds the restrictions in place because of the pandemic haven’t been all bad for these families.

“With schools closing down, and going virtually, that just made everything different for our children. But it also gave our kids more time at home to bond and attach with the families they were with. So, that’s been one great positive that we’ve seen,” says Steele.

“If it were up to me, we’d have 18 kids, and I’d love them all,” says Kristina Hawse.

Kristina and Beth Hawse have certainly bonded with their new daughters. They say the experience hasn’t only changed them, but the people around them, especially during these challenging times.

“We have people in our lives that buy food for homeless people now, because our children were homeless, says Kristina. “There are times when things that you see and things that you hear take your breath away. And not in a good way. But these two little girls have changed our family. Everyone in our family has changed. Their hearts have grown.”

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