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Meet the Haile Adoptive Family from Florida!

What might inspire a single, professional man to become a father to five young children? Tayden Haile explains, “Each child held my heart from the day of arrival to my foster home. The key word for me was home. If you are at home, then why go anywhere else?”

“The key word for me was home.”

Tayden is a single dad no longer. His children were ages 1 through 4 when he met Toyia, and ages 4 through 8 when the couple wed. Tayden jokes, “It took her forever to say ‘yes’!” On a more serious note, he explains, “As an educated, independent woman, Toyia moved several states away, leaving friends, a career, and a home, to be with me and my ve special needs little ones. She is the real hero!”

Remembering her own painful childhood in and out of foster care and group homes helped Toyia to completely embrace the role of the mother in her new “instant family.” Her ability to fully claim Tayden’s children as her own helped the family avoid the typical step-family adjustments.

Adoption and marriage have turned the Haile home into a joyful place, abuzz with the noise, activity, and laughter of happy children. Toyia and Tayden proudly introduce their beloved sons and daughters: Makhi, now age 12; Nisaiah, 12; Miracle, 11; Christian, 10; and Sincere, 9. All five youngsters have grown to be respectful, kind, and caring people.

The Haile family includes children of different ethnicities, biological siblings, and children with developmental delays or disabilities. One child has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum; a few others are challenged by Anxiety Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Tayden and Toyia appreciate post adoption services and benefits. They have found Medicaid to be a huge help, stating, “We couldn’t afford to adopt if we had to pay for the health care.” Additional services have included vision care (glasses), medications, and counseling, which Tayden says was so important because “it gave the kids a ‘paid friend’ to vent to and to process their feelings with in a positive way.” Tayden greatly appreciated the Federal Adoption Tax Credit, which helped with the costs of new clothes, beds, bikes, and therapy equipment.

The main obstacle the Hailes have encountered is the “low rate” of their monthly Adoption Assistance, which does not keep pace with in inflation and rising costs of mental health services. Due to the educational needs of their son who has autism, Tayden has given up his employment in order to provide home-schooling. This situation occasionally creates nancial difficulties.

When the conversation switches from obstacles faced to the role of faith in their adoption journey, Tonia and Tayden return to their usual joyfulness. “We believe that God has called us to adopt. We will continue to make a home for those who want to call us mom and dad.”

The Haile family asks policymakers to improve the quality of foster care for children with serious medical or behavioral challenges. They suggest hiring, training, and adequately paying foster parents for this special population. They observe, “Children who are better cared for are more often seen as adoptable.”