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Meet the Field Family from Virgina

 

Adoption means I have a mom who loves me and grandparents who are proud of my accomplishments.

 

 

Mikalah is a daughter who would make any parent proud. She is intelligent, kind, happy, and quite accomplished. Mikalah has recently been inducted into the National Honor Society and she has also won the Girl Scouts Silver Award. Valuing the arts and athletics in addition to academics, Mikalah is co-captain of her cheerleading squad, she is on the varsity track team, and she plays the violin. Mom Lesley describes Mikalah as “a strong, resilient young lady.”

 

Life has not always offered Mikalah the opportunities she has found since coming to live with Lesley at age 13 on a foster care basis. Recognizing that she was living in a sub-standard environment, Mikalah's church community was instrumental in getting her safely into foster care. The church continues to be an important source of support for this mother and daughter pair.

 

When Mikalah became legally fully freed for adoption at age 16, Lesley happily seized the opportunity to establish her as a permanent family member. Lesley’s relatives and friends welcomed Mikalah “from day one.” Mikalah has enjoyed having grandparents nearby, and she has developed close relationships with Lesley’s cousins and friends, and their children. Mikalah recently wrote, “Adoption means I have a mom who loves me and grandparents who are proud of my accomplishments at school and listen to me play the violin after school, and cousins. We focus on making new memories, so I feel like I have been here forever!”

 

Sadly, Lesley’s father passed away over the summer. He had been the only grandfather Mikalah ever knew, and she his only granddaughter, making the loss especially profound.

 

Mikalah’s favorite memory of coming to live with Lesley was the two of them working together to build a desk for Mikalah’s room. “We assembled 300 pieces, and even though the desk drawer is crooked, we did it together!” As with the desk, Mikalah and Lesley have collaborated to build a solid, trusting mother-daughter relationship. The two are pleased with and proud of the small family they have created together.

 

Asked about agencies or outreach that influenced her decision to adopt, Lesley cites AdoptUSkids.org, A Family for Every Child, and the Heart Galleries. She found Fairfax County “terrific” to work with. Lesley especially appreciated the transportation services the county provided which allowed Mikalah to stay in her school while her case proceeded through the courts.

 

Lesley asks members of Congress to require support to foster children through to age 21. She writes, “I remain involved in the life of one of my former foster kids who, thanks to extra support from Fairfax County after age 18, was able to attend college and live independently. But not all states do this.”

 

While her mom offers advice to our nation’s legislators, Mikalah has a suggestion for the population in general: “Please consider becoming a foster or adoptive parent to a teenager or older child. We want to be a part of a happy family, since most of us have not experienced this, and we can add so much to your family's life.”