Dawn Brand and Lisa Addison each knew they wanted to become moms one day. Originally, they thought a husband would make that dream a reality, but as they got older and marriage was not in the immediate future, they decided to create their families by adopting through foster care.
Every day is full of laughter for Dawn, chasing after almost two-year-old Lakeyn. "A lot of times people say that she's one blessed little girl," she said, "I know that I'm one blessed mommy."
Dawn says it has always been her heart's desire to be a mom.
As the years passed and she remained single, she says lots of prayer and a random text from a friend made her consider adoption. "My friend texted me one morning and said, 'I was cleaning my bathrooms and had a thought,' and she said, 'have you ever considered adoption through foster care?' That was the spark that started it all."
Lisa Addison can relate. "I just somehow instinctively knew I will be a mom," she said, "I didn't know when, didn't know how, but I knew I would be."
So, two single women on two different paths - that eventually led each to the Department of Children & Family Services and its foster-to-adopt option. "I specified ages zero to four, male or female, any race and even disabilities," said Lisa.
Lisa fostered four children who went back to biological families. Then came Hadley, a neglected toddler. "He came running into my home, just barreling," she said, "he was just a toddler, adorable."
Lisa knew Hadley was meant to be her son.
Next came a phone call from Lisa's case worker about a baby. "She called and said, 'her birth mother has just been murdered and we found her at a local motel. We want to know if you would consider,'" said Lisa, "and I said, 'if you hadn't told me all of that, I would've said no,' but I said, 'yes I will.'"
That baby, Lexi, is now a straight A student. These inseparable siblings know adoption changed their lives. "I have a family," said Hadley, "and they wanted me."
"Adoption means I have a family that loves me forever," said Lexi, "that loves me more than everybody and anything except Jesus and God."
That unconditional love is something that Dawn was also able to give to Lakeyn, placed with her at just two days old and testing positive for cocaine. "I took that risk," said Dawn, "and I'm willing to walk the road if this is my child, I'll walk this road and God will help me get through."
Lakeyn is developmentally off the charts today, and so is the love that these two moms feel for the children born in their hearts. "I have my family," said Lisa, "what else is there? To me, that's the ultimate."
"With a heart's desire to be a mom, she's made my life complete," said Dawn.
There are 350 children in Louisiana today, just like Hadley, Lexi and Lakeyn waiting to be adopted through the Department of Children & Family Services. Click here to learn more or call 337-491-2470.