Bethany, Jeffrey and Avery were home from the minute they came into Jessica Sosa’s home.
Bethany, 5, and Jeffrey, 3, were Jessica’s first foster care placements – and a few months later, Avery, 2, joined them. Adopting a sibling group all under the age of 5 might seem like a big undertaking for some, but for Jessica, she couldn’t imagine not doing it.
“I saw the need in foster care when I was doing a lot of volunteering and had some friends who worked for CPS, and also a lot of friends who have fostered or adopted. I was always very aware of the need,” Jessica explained.
Once she was licensed for foster care in January 2018, it only took 24 hours for her to have her first placement – Bethany and Jeffrey. Avery, the youngest brother, was placed in another foster home in the area. The two families would do outings together, and it was apparent Bethany longed to see him more often. Over the next six months, they would visit frequently and then Avery’s foster family asked Jessica if she would take him too and keep the three siblings together.
“I think having them grow up together is really important," Jessica said. "As they get older, they’ll have this connection and they can look back and see ... I’ve seen so many cases where the siblings didn’t stay together.”
Fostering as a young single woman has brought many joys, but also many challenges. Jessica laughs as she shares how much she’s learned about patience and grace in the past year.
“We mess up, but that doesn’t define us,” she said. “I want the kids to learn that as they’re getting older.”
Once quiet and timid, the three siblings now love to play and laugh and exude so much joy. When Bethany first came home to Jessica, she didn’t even know her own name and now she’s excelling in school. Jeffrey arrived primarily nonverbal, with tantrums and the inability to really be around people, but now Jessica is experiencing how smart he is and slowly improving his ability to speak and be around new people. While Avery was just a baby when he came to Jessica’s home, he has grown into the loud, fun-loving boy who doesn’t stop playing.
Jessica encourages any who are looking to walk this journey to find their support.
“Find your circle,” she said. “We’ve had people show up with groceries – just for whatever reason. I always have someone there to support me and to support them.”
This week, Jessica, Bethany, Jeffrey and Avery became a forever family when Jessica adopted the siblings through a virtual adoption ceremony.
Jessica never imagined her first foster placement would turn into an adoption case. But from the first time they stepped into her home, she opened her heart and loved them with all she had.
Visit buckner.org/foster-care-adoption to learn more about helping vulnerable children.