A Family Built By Love

All her life, Erika knew she wanted to be a mom. But fears of “emotional risk” had always dissuaded her from adoption through foster care. After happening upon an online ad for a foster care orientation, she took it as a sign to go, despite feeling it would be “a waste of time,” as she didn’t think she was emotionally ready.

“Quite honestly, I was scared of the process,” Erika said. “But it completely changed my mind about risk. I realized that risk is just part of what motherhood was going to entail. But that as a mother, I was supposed to take on that risk, not the child.”

Erika began Model Approaching to Partnerships in Parenting (MAPP) classes at Allies for Every Child (Allies), learning about the foster care system and the thousands of children in Los Angeles who are placed in foster care each year.

“MAPP class completely changed me as a person,” Erika said. “Not just the motherhood part, which was definitely underdeveloped, but just the way that I look at other people in the challenges they’re facing. I realized, ‘Who am I to judge someone who was dealt a completely different deck of cards than me?’”

When Allies’ social worker (“the stork” as Erika calls him) introduced her to 18-day old Logan, the connection was instant.

Logan is now “very two,” charging headfirst into life with a gusto that only two-year-olds can muster. He and his mom are now part of a model modern family. He delights in blowing bubbles, singing along to Moana, and pulling his sister’s hair.

Erika is forthright about Logan’s adoption, and mindful of speaking positively about his birth mother, something she feels is important for all foster families to embrace.

On eventful days during their journey, Erika remembers a favorite gospel song, “Worth Fighting For,” always finding its way onto the radio, and credits it as an apropos reminder of the process. She now speaks at the same Allies’ MAPP classes that she attended, hoping to encourage others to be open to a risk so worth fighting for.

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