My name is Stacey Cowan and my husband’s name is Jerry. We have 12 kids all together, (his, mine and those we have adopted.) Right now, we only have 7 of them that still live at home. Paul is 15 (Jerry’s son), then Marshall 14, Alexus 10, Hailey 7, MaKayla 7, Chance 5 and Hayden 2 1/2 (who are all adopted.) Marshall, Alexus and Hailey are all half siblings. They are Jerry’s sister’s children. MayKayla, Chance and Hayden are also half siblings. We adopted Chance first in Feb. of 2016. With Marshall, Alexus and Hailey being adopted in June of 2016. MaKakyla and Hayden were just adopted this month.
It all started when we originally had Marshall and Alexus in 2010, back when they first were placed in foster care. We weren’t foster parents at that time as they were just in family placement with us. Once they got reintegrated with their mom, we kicked around the idea of taking the MAPP classes and becoming foster parents. We really liked the aspect of being able to help kids until they could return to their homes. We knew we could offer them love, structure and the stability they need. So we signed up with TFI, took the classes and became a licensed foster home December of 2011. We got our very first foster kids (a brother and sister) the same day we got our foster care license, which just happened to be two days before Christmas. So I called my two grown daughters, gave them some money, and sent them shopping for Christmas gifts!!! We never had planned on adopting when we started this journey, it just kind of happened. When you have a child placed in your home for months/years they become a part of your family and your heart. You love them like your own. When they don’t end up getting reintegrated back to their bio family, for us it was only natural to adopt them.
I believe adoption has made our family stronger and closer in ways. It takes the entire family, extended family as well to make it all work. We are lucky in that our ENTIRE family has embraced each and every one of the kids with open arms into our family. I feel as if we have an even stronger family bond then we did before. We can definitely say adoption is very near and dear to us. We now have 6 beautiful kids that we love with all our heart that we wouldn’t have, had we not adopted them. Through adoption kids that may not have had a family and home of their own, now do. We couldn’t even imagine our life without them in it.
In the end, everyone is great! We had the kids in placement with us for such a long time that them being adopted isn’t much different than what it was before, at least not for them. For us we know that they are now officially forever our children. When MaKayla found out we finally had a court date to finalize the adoptions she was so excited, jumping up and down with a huge smile on her face!
We have heard so many of our friends/family say they would love to adopt or do foster care, but say they not sure they would be good at it. ANYONE that has a love for children can foster or adopt. We aren’t perfect parents. We make mistakes and do the wrong thing at times. But that is no different than it is with any other family. It has been a blessing for us and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. We love every single one of our 12 kids, bio, step or adopted makes no difference!