You Belong: Laura and Wylynn’s Story

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You Belong: Laura and Wylynn’s Story

Adults who were formerly in foster care know the pain of feeling lonely and uncertain. Their experience often gives them an extra dose of compassion for children currently in foster care. Laura, a woman who spent time in foster care during her childhood, was determined to help as many children as she could. She and her husband decided to become a foster family, but little did they know it would complete their family more than they ever expected. Read how Laura and her husband found a daughter through our partner, America’s Kids Belong.

Laura’s Heart for Kids

Laura, a foster and adoptive mom from South Dakota, understands what it means as a child to want to belong and to be loved. When she was fourteen, a teacher took her in after she disclosed the abuse she was suffering at home. Eventually, Laura’s teacher adopted her, making her a permanent member of the family. Looking back now, Laura wonders how much different her life may have been if she didn’t get that chance to belong, to be loved, and to thrive. If her teacher, and later her husband, hadn’t said “yes” to adoption, would she be in a position to adopt a child from the foster care system?

Fortunately, Laura got that chance. She and her husband became foster parents and have since cared for several children. Their ages range from four to sixteen years old, both boys and girls. With four children of their own, the whole family opened their home and hearts to kids who needed a loving family. Laura felt grateful to foster and see the kids in their care reunify with their biological families. Eventually, though, she sensed something was missing in their own family. It turned out not to be something, however, but someone.

Meeting Wylynn

Later, Laura discovered South Dakota Kids Belong on Facebook, a branch of our partner America’s Kids Belong. Laura visited their website and watched several of the videos produced as part of the I Belong Project. These videos help connect kids in foster care—who are legally free for adoption—with forever families by giving them a voice. Each video features a real child sharing their story in their own words. Families interested in meeting the child then reach out through America’s Kids Belong

As Laura watched the videos of children available for adoption, she came across the video of a young girl named Wylynn. Immediately, Laura felt compelled to get to know her. After learning more and going through the formal process, Laura and her family met Wylynn. The family loved Wylynn, and once they got to know her better, they wanted to work towards taking the next step to adoption. However, Laura made it clear that moving forward would be Wylynn’s choice.

“We wanted to make sure that she had a choice,” Laura says. “That she chose us.”

But Wylynn knew she found her forever family. After spending lots of time together, Wylynn said yes to being adopted!

You Belong

Laura and her husband wanted to give Wylynn a family, but they were given so much more in return. Wylynn has given them such a gift in return through her warmth, her smile, her hugs, and her ability to be open to love. The Drevlows feel truly blessed by having Wylynn a part of their family. Laura’s own adoption journey gave her a unique perspective about giving another child a chance to thrive.

“We are real children that just want to belong, to be loved and understood,” Laura says. “There’s so much potential in us that can really thrive with just a chance.”

By supporting For Others, you’re helping us and partners like America’s Kids Belong share the voices of real children in foster care waiting to be adopted. Because of you, many more children like Wylynn have found their forever families. Let’s keep helping children in foster care find safe and loving families. Give today to make a change.

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