National Adoption Month: Lakeland’s Children Dreaming of Finding their Forever Home
By: Dr. Amy Bratten

With a sense of humor that’ll keep you on your toes, David can light up just about any room – but don’t think for a moment that this 16-year-old will take it easy on you during a pick-up game of basketball! Athletic and adventurous, David’s still waiting for the right family to call his own.

And there’s sweet Takiyah. Though she’s shy at first, she loves to bond over board games and coloring … and bonus points if it’s followed by movie night with Zootopia!

Teresa, too, is still waiting for her forever family. Like David, her humor brightens the room! And she has big goals – she dreams of becoming a veterinarian after college … and she hopes to be able to celebrate that accomplishment with a family of her own one day.

Jah’miaah has big dreams too; with a love for science, she has a beautiful sense of curiosity and is fascinated with the world around her – especially when it comes to exploring the unknown. She’s often the first to step up to lend a hand to others, and she illuminates hope and optimism … and she refuses to give up her hope of joining a forever family.

These are just four of nearly 50 amazing children in our own Lakeland community who are anxiously waiting for the day they’ll be welcomed into a family through adoption. A family that will love them for who they are, will support them through thick and thin, and will provide the stability, safety and encouragement every child deserves.

Perhaps they’re waiting for you.

Maybe you haven’t thought about the impact you can make on a child when you open your heart and home through adoption … or, speaking from experience, maybe you haven’t considered the impact David, Takiyah, Teresa or Jah’miaah may have on you.

When my husband and I first adopted our children, we didn’t know the adventure we were about to embark upon – and, truthfully, nothing could have prepared us. The joy our daughter and son have brought to our family is indescribable, not to mention that our family is growing as my daughter has a daughter and my son is about to welcome his son into this world. The joy they bring us every day is unmatched. And we thank our lucky stars they are part of our family.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s hard. Being a parent is hard. Parenting kids from tough places is hard. But the valleys make the peaks even more rewarding.

And you’re not alone. As a board member with Children’s Home Society of Florida, I can attest to the support, encouragement and team you’ll have with you throughout your journey. With nearly 121 years of experience creating forever families through adoption, Children’s Home Society of Florida understands the uniqueness of every journey and the importance of support before, during and after the adoption process.

In partnership with Heartland for Children, Children’s Home Society of Florida created loving forever families for nearly 100 local children last year alone – and they’re working tirelessly to create those moments for dozens more this year, too.

If you’re ready to take the next step, please contact Children’s Home Society of Florida today. If you aren’t sure if adoption is right for your family, you can still help. Now is the perfect time to bring holiday joy and hope to our local children – please, reach out today to find out how you can help.