01 Sep Love Makes a Family-Nora and Candace’s CHRIS 180 Adoption Journey
Candace and Nora started their journey with CHRIS 180 in the hopes of achieving their dream of starting a family. As an LGBTQ+ couple in the south, Candace and Nora knew they would face challenges. The pair did not let that stop them and they pursued building a family—doing what some would say was a very hard thing, but both important and rewarding.
“In 2018 we began looking for an organization that would be open to same-sex adoption and we happened to learn about CHRIS 180. Their inclusive foster and adoption programs and offerings of ongoing training for parents made the organization the best fit for us. CHRIS 180 provided us with wrap-around support before, during, and after our adoption process. We were able to do it all with their guidance rather than puzzle piecing it together. They helped us anticipate and prepare for challenges, connected us so we could build a community of support with other adoptive parents, shepherded us through every step of the process, and continue with us on our family building journey starting with our son Keith.
Belonging is one of our core family values and we have always felt that we belonged at CHRIS 180. We have never felt alone in this process – not once. An organization that is inclusive, welcoming, and truly values belonging, CHRIS 180 has hit the mark for us. This is a safe space that is very affirming. For our son, who was 7 when we adopted him and is now 10, everything was new for all of us. Through the trainings and experiences at CHRIS 180, he sees healthy families of all types and he knows he is not alone and we do as well. He belongs – with us and with CHRIS 180.
Keith’s adoption was finalized in March of 2020, yes right at the beginning of the pandemic. One of the things we learned was that cocooning with him – staying close and tight – was important in the beginning. Nothing like a pandemic to help us out with that! But there were challenges–we had to learn how to be occupational therapists, speech pathologists, therapists and teachers during that first year. The lack of stability and ability to thrive in foster care prior to adoption affected his speech. He literally could not find his own voice. But CHRIS 180 helped us figure it all out and continued to offer support. Now, he can express himself. He loves basketball, likes games, sometimes hates school and sometimes loves it and – as is developmentally appropriate – he pushes boundaries!
And it’s with great excitement – and a healthy dose of fear – that we are expanding our family again through a CHRIS 180 adoption. We will welcome a 14-year-old trans girl soon into our home and family and we are excited! We know to expect challenges, but we have the confidence that we will be able to do another very hard and important thing for our family and this teenager.
Without CHRIS 180 we might not have been able to do these beautiful, rewarding, important things. With CHRIS 180, we are living into our values, building a beautiful family, embracing children who need loving community, enabling the growth of healthy, emotionally intelligent children and most importantly–living out our dreams of becoming parents.
We are so grateful and honored to walk this journey with CHRIS 180. To belong and to do hard things. There are thousands of kids who need healthy and loving homes right here in Georgia alone. CHRIS 180 is an organization that helps make it possible for foster and adoptive parents to take the leap. It is very hard work. And it’s important and rewarding work. “
We are so proud to support Nora, Candace and their growing family. Our supporters enable CHRIS 180 to provide trauma-informed care and training for those seeking to become adoptive parents. To learn more about our adoption services, visit CHRISadoptions.org.