Foster-Adoption We became a State Licensed Adoption agency in 2014. Since this time, the agency has developed a strong adoption program focused on placing children with highly-trained families, adding an additional layer to our ongoing efforts to move our foster children and youth towards permanent family-based homes within their local community. Cora When Denise and Lee became adoptive foster parents, they were full of anticipation. While unsure of what to expect, they were excited to care for someone who truly needed them. That someone would turn out to be Cora—a nine year old girl who was placed in Emergency Shelter Care when her grandparents could no longer care for her. Without parents or other family, Cora was asked how she felt about being adopted. Cora answered that she had little hope. But little did she know who was waiting for her. At an FCNI event, Cora’s Shelter parents met Denise and Lee, and were taken by their compassion. After speaking with Cora’s social worker, the team decided to introduce the three. Their first meeting went so well, the team arranged for more meetings, and then overnight stays. A happy surprise came for everyone when Denise and Lee asked if they could foster-adopt Cora. With the adoption process started, Denise and Lee welcomed an excited Cora into their home. At first, Cora was her usual happy self, but soon she started acting out. At dinnertime and bedtime, she started tantruming, and she could no longer sleep through the night. Cora’s team recognized that in the comfort of her new home, Cora’s defenses lowered and she started displaying the effects of her past trauma. To meet the family’s and Cora’s immediate needs, FCNI provided the family additional support. The plan was to help Denise and Lee learn how to best support Cora while she learned how to cope more effectively as she healed. Cora started meeting with a therapist weekly, and an FCNI counselor a couple days a week. Cora and her counselor worked in Cora’s home, helping the whole family strengthen their communication and coping skills. Denise and Lee also started attending a weekly FCNI Foster Parent support group so they could learn from others in similar circumstances. And together, the three of them participated in family therapy sessions. Over the next several months, the new family grew stronger, bonding over their shared experiences, new skills, and their mutual love and trust. While Denise and Lee were happy to become adoptive foster parents, they never expected to encounter the growth,challengesandimmeasurablelovethattheyhave.Whilenothingiseverperfect,theydidfindtheir“perfect- for-them” family when they adopted Cora. And because of Cora, they now have the skills, experience and hope to add more foster children into their lives—happy to face the new challenges of growing their family together. 2017-2018 Outcomes Children/Youth Served 1 Successful Placement Days 100% 13