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Meet the The Phong Family from Washington!

11/6/19

We knew that she belonged with us.

Like many families who adopt from foster care, Odin and Tai chose to create their family by adopting and having birth  children. In a less usual twist, they adopted first, as a childless couple, and then added birth children several years later. 

The Phongs proudly introduce their youngsters: Jacqueline, age 16; Genevieve, age 8; and Henry, age 5. Jacqueline came to them at age 2, and the couple adopted her at age 6.  To Odin and Tai, adoption is simply one way to make or add to a family. They emphatically state, “Our daughter is as much of a part of us as the children that we gave birth to.”

When Jacqueline first came into the Phong home, Odin and Tai were told her foster placement would be temporary. When the plan changed, the couple didn’t hesitate to express their intent to adopt.  “We knew that she belonged with us.”

A talented artist, Jacqueline specializes in creating line drawings. She also has a fun sense of humor.  Mom writes, “You will never be far from a laugh or a smile with her around.” Among her many positive qualities, the most outstanding is Jacqueline’s compassion and concern for others. She is known as the first to recognize and help a peer in need of support. 

One of Jacqueline’s earliest memories is a trip to Disneyland at age 4. ”It was magical and it started my love for collecting Disney trading pins.”

Due to her early childhood experiences, Jacqueline has faced many challenges.  Her parents are proud of their daughter’s many great strides and accomplishments, perhaps most especially of Jacqueline’s swimming skills. This girl who was terrified of water as a young child, now swims so well that she competes on a swim team.

The Phongs are thankful for the post adoption benefits that combine with their private health insurance to meet many of Jacqueline’s needs. They also appreciate the information and support they receive from the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center.  

The Phongs’ adoption process took much longer than they originally thought it would, due to frequent changes in caseworkers and the resulting missed deadlines. They were also frustrated by “not knowing the time frame for next steps until after they had been missed. “ Based upon these experiences, the Phong’s ask policy makers to promote the use of written handouts and clearer communication about the process among lawyers, caseworkers, and families.

Asked what the family would like to tell others about adoption, Tai writes, “It is not easy or all rainbows, but it is more than worth it. Our family is better because of adoption.”