Chenita with Kensley and Kennedy
“It is my personal belief that God sheds a tear every time a child is orphaned.
Not everyone gets their traditional story. I have always known since I was a small child that I wanted to do something greater than myself. I was taken from my mother at birth and placed with my grandparents at just 3 days old. My grandparents raised 7 of my siblings and me. My younger sisters and brother were placed into foster care and were later adopted by wonderful people. My mom struggled with both drugs and alcohol and was never able to overcome her addiction. She never regained custody of my siblings and me, but we loved her regardless. I am thankful for my struggles. It has given me the strength to help so many people. Through my own experience I have become a testimony for those around me considering making an impact on our community. My overall experience has helped me grow by being forced out of my comfort zone into a more selfless mindset, focusing on severing others. One thing I know for sure is that if God lead us to do something, he equips us for the journey. The best part about becoming licensed to care for abused and neglected children, was knowing the difference I would make in their lives. I provide each child placed in my home with love, stability, and compassion. Not everyone can do this work. It’s truly a calling that’s done from the heart.
I began fostering my oldest daughter Kennedy when she was 2 months old and my youngest daughter Kensley at 3 months old. They are biological sisters, 11 months apart. They are the biological daughters of the teen mom who was placed in my home. When the caseworker brought the topic of sibling adoption to my attention, it started a fire in my heart. Just as I was led to foster, I was now being led to adopt. I wasn’t afraid to move forward with the adoption because I knew that if God led me to this journey, he would meet my every need during the process. It is my personal belief that God sheds a tear every time a child is orphaned. Though I faced obstacles during my adoption process seemed insurmountable, my family has not only grown in size, but also in love.
My daughters were both born drug addicted. I knew this before we got to the point of adoption. The biological parents struggled with mental illness, drug addiction, and both had learning disabilities. Many people who I thought would support my decision to move forward with the adoption despite the baggage the girls came with, tried their best to discourage me. Both girls were underweight until about a year ago. After being diagnosed with a speech delay, Kennedy at just 1 year old, started speech therapy. By the time she turned 3, she was speaking in full sentences. Both Kennedy and Kensley received services from a behavioral therapist. Kennedy’s behavior improved a great deal and Kensley’s behavior also improved significantly. I’ve never thought about giving up on my daughters. There is no experience in life I enjoy more than raising my daughters. I am confident in my decision because it has brought me the two greatest joys of my life. With all the highs, lows, growth, and constant evaluation of my existence, my purpose, my relationship and our life together, I know that this was all a part of God’s plan. Adoption has been the best part of my career. Becoming a mother has naturally brought on deeper lessons. My daughters remind daily what truly matters in life and have truly made me a better person.”
(Houston, TX, USA)
Chenita lives in Houston, Texas with her family and runs a non-profit organisation, Youth Be Known.