Tis the Season to Foster Joy: Natasha's Story

PART TWO: Natasha's Story

Three years before the 2022 #NationalAdoptionDay event, *Natasha’s grandmother, *Tracy, began the long and laborious process of filing for adoption. 

Natasha was born in 2018 with an opiate addiction and was removed from her home shortly after. She lived with her grandmother while her mother tried to overcome her addiction and maintain a steady income – but was unsuccessful. As a result, the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) terminated her mother’s parental rights.

“They told me if I didn’t adopt her, she’d be put up for adoption,” said Tracy.

Over the next few years, Tracy moved slowly but surely towards adopting Natasha. It took a year for Natasha’s mom’s parental rights to be officially terminated, and the COVID-19 pandemic caused everything to be put on hold. Throughout the process, Tracy remained hopeful and excited to adopt, serving as a surrogate parent for Natasha as she progressed through her first years of life.

“She was born with a few medical issues, and they [doctors] didn’t think she was going to achieve the goals she was able to achieve or live a normal life,” said Tracy.

Due to the neglect and trauma she experienced at a young age, Natasha was developmentally delayed. She didn’t start walking until after two years of age and wasn’t speaking until after her third birthday.

“Now, she’s running, walking, jumping, and speaking all the time. She’s very smart,” said Tracy. “She’s overcome every obstacle.”

On Adoption Day, four-year-old Natasha was surrounded by family and friends, her grandmother, and several stuffed animals that kept her company during the proceedings. Even Natasha’s biological mother was there on the big day.

“Natasha loves her mom and knows exactly who she is,” explained Tracy. “They do have a relationship. It’s just not healthy at this point because her mom is still sick.”

Several Cornerstones of Care team members were also in the courtroom with the family that day, celebrating the final chapter of Natasha’s adoption journey.

“Cornerstones of Care has been great,” said Tracy. “They have been really supportive. Anything we have needed – documentation, getting Natasha into daycare – they have been there for us.” 

*Names changed to protect privacy

This story is part two of our three-part series to highlight the end-of-year impact of our work at Cornerstones of Care.