A Serendipitous Match

Lydia - Serendipitious Match

玛拉* is a happy, inquisitive, animated 9-year-old girl trying to enjoy summer with her two dads, adoptive parents Daniel*, a high school English and film teacher, and Anthony*, a data analyst.

Like the rest of the country, 玛拉’s summer looked different in 2020, but not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She finally has a place to call home with Anthony and Daniel after a long, emotional journey through several foster care homes on the road to permanent placement.

玛拉 entered the foster care system in 2014 and experienced many placements in foster and group homes. During her time in care, 玛拉 excelled in school and took an interest in helping others while working with various members of her case management team to address behavioral issues and trauma-related stress. 玛拉 was “referred” in 2018 in the hopes of finding a home that would meet her complex needs as she progressed in age.

Daniel and Anthony first met 玛拉 in May 2019. Longing for a family of their own, the couple had considered adoption for some time prior to finding 玛拉. They felt an immediate draw to her when they came across her profile online.

“We always talked about adoption as something in the future,” Daniel said. “One day we just said, ‘why not now?’ 玛拉 was our first inquiry; it was serendipitous.”

Her profile underscored that an ideal placement would be in a home supportive of her gender identity because it would allow for the family to help her explore with a deeper level of empathy, noting that she often depicted herself in drawings as a girl and expressed on several occasions that she was a girl. During this process, she came out as a transgender girl. “We were drawn to her from the moment we found her profile online, and we were completely taken by her once we met in person,” Daniel said. “We are excited to be able to provide a loving, safe home for her to thrive in as she grows up.”

小茉莉*, 玛拉’s adoption recruiter affectionately refers to 玛拉 as an intelligent, spunky young girl whose infectious spirit positively impacts everyone she meets. As part of 玛拉’s care team, she provided support for 玛拉 and her now-adoptive parents every step of the way, including adoption preparation work leading up to the adoption finalization.

Daniel and Anthony traveled to meet the child who would ultimately become their family. Due to complications around the COVID-19 pandemic, the finalization of the placement and adoption took longer than expected. “The hardest part about the process was the wait,” Daniel recounted. “After 玛拉 came to us for the trial period, it was an excruciating wait for her to return. Every time we spoke with her, she asked when she could come back, and we just weren’t sure how long it would take given the pandemic. We were all anxious to be together again.

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted other organizations in maintaining services, many continue to operate in this virtual environment, where recruiters are meeting with children and youth via phone calls and Skype and actively looking for permanent placements. 玛拉 loves to play dress-up, proclaims every color of the rainbow is her favorite and enjoys spending quality time with her dads, playing games, exploring the outdoors, watching shows, and being a family. Her dads ensure 玛拉 remains connected with her grandmother, who spent Christmas 2019 with them during a mutual visit.

玛拉’s adoption finalized in June 2020. Daniel and Anthony sought to make the moment memorable by compiling a video with messages from her caseworkers and select friends and family.


*names and personal information have been tweaked to preserve the privacy of the people in the stories.

Emily Peilan

Squarespace Web Designer | Creating stylish, chic and modern websites that convert for the Creative Entrepreneur and Small Businesses. 


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