How adopting children changed the lives of two Texas women

Roz Brown | Public News Service
As of August 2021, there were more than 28,000 children in foster care in Texas and almost 6,000 children waiting for adoptive families. Photo Credit: Alexis Scholtz / / Adobe Stock

When a Texas woman began her six-year journey to adopt, she hoped to affect one child’s life.

Felicia Lewis, an adoptive parent, is now making a difference in the lives of three young sisters. After considering adoption for years, Lewis and her partner Ruth were introduced to the three girls, all recently displaced from their birth parents.

She encouraged those considering adoption to “get involved to change a life and see how it impacts yours.”

“These are children, and it’s really important because you’re going to be shaping their future, shaping their minds, shaping how they view the world,” Lewis pointed out. “It is critical that people are just invested in it.”

November is National Adoption Month. Lewis works for Bank of America, ranked among the “Top 100 Best Adoption Friendly Workplaces” by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The connection helped pay the adoption legal fees through Bank of America’s Family Planning Reimbursement program.

Over several years, Lewis and her partner built a deep connection to the children and finally saw their petition to foster with the intention to adopt granted in 2020. The process was finalized in August. Lewis noted she received an outpouring of support and encouragement from work colleagues to adopt her three daughters, now ages 6, 8 and 9.

“We walked into this thinking that we were helping them,” Lewis recounted. “We’re going to give them a better life, a better future, a better home, etc. And we certainly did all that, but they gave us such a better perspective on being better human beings.”

Lewis added those considering adoption should not take it lightly, because it is an intense process.

“Agencies, the government, etc., they want to make sure the children are going to a safe home; that they’re going to a place they can be cared for,” Lewis emphasized. “There’s a process, so just be patient, and know that it may not happen overnight, and you might have to try, try and try again. But in the end, it is so well worth it.”

The average paid leave given to adoptive parents is 9 weeks – up from 8.4 weeks last year.