20 Mar Michael and Pam
Pam and Mike joined Angels to care for children in need. From the beginning they were ready, willing, and very able to provide a little one with a safe, enriching environment. In the beginning, they were not convinced that they would adopt if the opportunity arose.
Their adult children had different ideas. “Our older daughter encouraged us to adopt from the get-go.” Their son thought they were “nuts,” but both children were very supportive of their parents. With two mature, successful children, Pam and Mike were comfortable stepping back into the role of parenting little ones.
Then along came Alana. When asked what made them decide to adopt, despite being older than typical parents of three-year-olds, Pam explains “we fell in love.” The decision was supported by both of their children, but this case was unusual. Alana’s birth family was on board as well. “When her birth parents realized they would not be able to care for Alana, they asked us to adopt her. They knew how much we loved her and that we would care for her and provide opportunities for a wonderful future.”
Alana’s birth family still plays an active role in her life. Although no longer court-ordered, Pam and Mike ensure that Alana spends time with her birth parents at least twice a month. Alana is very aware that she is loved very much by both families. When asked how the relationship works, Pam paints a picture of an extended family bonded through their love for Alana. “We have kind of an ‘aunt-and-uncle to niece-and-nephew’ relationship.” Pam and Mike also want to give Alana the opportunity to get to know her culture; she is half Cambodian and they hope to take her to Cambodia someday.
Today Alana is a bright, fun, adventurous three year old. She has wonderful language skills and a vocabulary that continues to grow. She is a very strong and outgoing girl with a great imagination. Beautiful, both inside and out, with ringlets and a smile that are uniquely her own, she is quick to captivate the room.
Pam says if given the chance to talk to prospective foster parents she would share that fostering is as rewarding as it is demanding. It is a huge time commitment so be prepared, but the love a foster parent gives and gets is amazing.