With the New Year come resolutions and best wishes for the 12 months that lie ahead. But for one Lower Mainland family, the New Year is about reflecting on a major milestone - the first family Christmas for their newly adopted 13-year-old daughter Kate and 16-year-old son Ryan.
“Our Christmas was really nice, chill and really busy,” said mother Cindy Locke with a laugh, who along with her husband Steve filled stockings for not only Kate and Ryan, but also their biological children Jessica (8) and Andrew (13), and Jordan (16), whom they adopted in 2010.
For Kate and Ryan, this is the second Christmas they’ve spent at the Locke house, however, since the adoption just finalized in the spring it represents the first of many taking place in their forever home.
“Having gone through the adoption process, we’ve had time to get to know them well”, said Cindy. “You pick up on your kids and I could tell that they were way more relaxed this year. In fact I heard them say this was the best Christmas ever!”
With five children at the Locke house, the holidays certainly are a busy time - not to mention Christmas morning being a flurry of activity. According to Cindy, one of the challenges of having such a full house at Christmas is “trying to watch everyone open up their presents from under the tree and making sure that each kid waits for their turn”.
At the same time the greater numbers ensure that throughout the day “everyone is doing something together” creating a warm holiday atmosphere.
While the holidays are best spent with loved ones and family, some would say that providing a forever home may be the best Christmas present you could give. “It was nice to see them recognize their name under the tree and maybe realize that they have a home for Christmas and they always will.”
Why It Matters:
- In November, the Province launched a new social media campaign to encourage British Columbians to consider adopting one of the more than 1,000 children and teens who are currently waiting for a forever family.
- The ministry is committed to placing 300 children and youth in adoptive homes by March 31, 2015, and approximately 150 in permanent guardianship environments.
- Many of the children and youth still waiting for adoption are school-age. They may be siblings who need to stay together. Some may have special placement needs due to difficult early childhood experiences, prenatal exposure to alcohol or drugs, learning delays or other developmental challenges.
Adoptive Families Association of BC: B.C. Federation of Foster Parent Associations: www.bcfosterparents.ca/
Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks: fbcyicn.ca
Contact the Adoption Reunion Registry toll‐free at 1 877 387‐3660 or visit: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/adoption/reunion/index.htm
Manager, Media Relations and Issues Management
Ministry of Children and Family Development