Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bringing Home Bradley: One Adoptive Mom's Story

Any parent can tell you, having a new child come into your life changes everything. For the Jenks family their story is no different, other than the way Bradley came into their lives. Instead of waiting nine months to deliver, they waited four years to adopt! They expected the best and the worst, and still could not have anticipated the amount of love and joy that would transpire with bringing a child into their family through adoption.

Anna Jenks, along with her husband, chose to obtain training and preparation classes and to have their adoption homestudy written through APAC, a program of Children’s Aid SocietyShe is now sharing her journey with others so they can see what an amazing process it has been and to bring awareness to the 250+ children that are currently in the custody of the Department of Human Resources and are still in need of a forever family.

A segment of their story, "If It Weren't For Bradley" was featured on our website as part of our Family Stories series. More recently, Mrs. Jenks shared her story for the cover article of our APAC Newsletter. Here's how their family journey began:
We waited years for Bradley, four years to be exact. We got discouraged and plans changed over time but we were answering a call and knew it would work out eventually. Our daughter, Julie, was four years old when we started our adoption journey. She was all for it and prayed daily for the arrival of “her baby brother” even though I had always pictured a little girl. We had considered going the international route but after years of the ups and downs we decided that we needed to look back into state adoption. 
APAC helped us during the transition and having them on our side was so special. The ten-week classes were helpful and I liked how it was set up each week. The paperwork was made so much more manageable because it was on the same topic as what we discussed in class. After we finished the home study process and were approved we were put onto the wait list to be matched.
We waited and waited but we still had not heard anything. I actually started a new job because it was taking so long. And then it happened. We got the call from DHR about a child, our child. Our Bradley.
We didn’t know what to think when we went to meet Bradley for the first time. Julie saw him first. She was eight years old now and as soon as she saw him she turned to me and said, “Mom, he is exactly how I pictured him! That is exactly how I knew he would look!” He didn’t look anything like the second daughter I had imagined but her statement immediately brought tears to my eyes, it still does.
Adjusting was hard for all of us but everyone was determined for Bradley to be part of our family. Trust came slowly with each passing day but eventually it was like he had always been with us. He always had been a part of us. 
It has been three years since Bradley became a part of our family. But he has always been a part of our family because God placed him in our heart long before we knew him.  Much in the same way as you love the child as soon you know you are pregnant, we have loved Bradley since we first started our process. We feel very family- complete. 
When Bradley first came to us and he didn't understand we were keeping him, I made a story up about just him and me. I would tell it to him every night. It helped Bradley fantasize what it was going to be like for him today, tomorrow, and forever. Even though the story made me out to be a silly mamma and involves boogers (don't ask), it helped me too. Reciting even in a silly way that I was going to be there forever was very comforting. 
I recommend to everyone to make up a "Happily Ever After" story to rehearse to your new Forever Child, and I would be glad to help. Write me:
- Anna Jenks, Adoptive Mother
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the adoption process please call:
 You can also see photos and videos of some of the “waiting children” at our partner’s website: