We are the Ledbetter family! We’ve been married for 20 years and have 2 adopted kids and 2 bio kids. Our oldest daughter, Jessica, lives in Austin; our son, Tyler, attends Texas A&M; our middle daughter, Devon, is a high school senior; and the newest addition to our family is Lily, who is 6.
My interest in adopting began when I was a volunteer as a child advocate with CASA. I was bothered by the number of teenagers who linger in foster care and never find a forever home. After thinking about it for years, I finally asked my husband, Trace, what he thought about it. He said no. It took a while for us to get on the same page (6 years!), but through prayer and patience, he agreed that adoption was right for our family.
Our son, Tyler, was placed with us in 2010 when he was 13, and we adopted him 2 years later. One of the struggles we had while fostering Tyler was finding quality respite care. So after his adoption we decided to become respite care providers. (Secretly I hoped to adopt again.)
We have had the privilege of providing respite care for many great kids over the past years, when in December 2016 Lily came to stay with us for the first time. She was a sweet 4-year-old girl with big blue eyes who only spoke a few words at the time. Over the next year, we kept Lily 4 more times.
During one stay, our daughter Devon announced we should adopt her. I immediately told her Lily was too young, I am too old, and she’s not available for adoption anyway. Devon continued to ask about her and kept bugging me to find out if she would be available for adoption.
In November 2017, we were contacted because indeed she was going to need a forever family! There were many things for us to consider and be concerned about. First of all, we were going to be empty nesters in a year! Well, God had other plans, putting all our concerns to rest. In January 2018, Lily was placed with us, and we did not have to wait the full 6 months for adoption. We adopted her on June 15, 2018. (By the way, Lily and Devon have the same birthdate—except for the year of course!)
Our adoption journeys have been a learning experience. Trace shares, “The amazing thing I have learned not only about myself but also our family is how quickly and completely love can develop when your heart is open to sharing and receiving it.”
We also strive to remember that yes, it is hard to be a foster/adopt parent, but it is much harder to be a child living in foster care or a child who was adopted.
And what’s next for our family? Waiting our 6 months to get back in to providing respite care again!
The Ledbetters with extended family