0614-Adoption-

Fostering leads to adoption for Red Level husband, wife

Published 12:00am Saturday, June 14, 2014

Getting involved in the foster parenting system gave She’Ree and Gerard Williamson a family they would not have been able to have otherwise.

Newly married, they decided to become licensed foster parents in December 2011.

Just shy of three months later, they received their first placement in February 2012.

“We were looking to adopt,” Mrs. Williamson said. “But from what we could tell, private adoptions are well over $20,000 to $30,000.”

So, the Williamsons looked to adopt through the state.

“We had not been married long enough to adopt, but we could foster until we could,” she said.

To date, eight children have lived with the Williamsons.

And in February of this year, they were able to formally adopt the sibling pair that was their first placement.

“When they came to us they were 1 and 5,” Mrs. Williamson said. “Now they are 3 and 7.”

Mrs. Williamson described her reaction to finalizing the adoption as “exciting.”

“I think everyone was excited,” she said.

It was only 30 days from the time that the Williamsons found out they could adopt until the children were legally theirs.

“I was on cloud nine,” she said. “It was a great relief and excitement like I’ve never felt before.”

For families considering fostering children, Mrs. Williamson said there are many rewards.

“It’s great seeing them relax,” she said. “And seeing their progress. You don’t know what these kids have faced.”

Williamson said it’s not all easy.

“We had a child who wouldn’t shut a door or go outside, and was scared all the time,” she said. “And we don’t know why.”

Currently the Williamsons have their adopted children plus two foster children.

“If you have lots of love and patience and love children, you can do this,” she said.

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