Meet some of the people who've made adoption a part of their lives and familes...
Meet the Dougherty Family
Alicia and Josh Dougherty adopted Bree and Patrick on November 27, 2019.
Q: Your story is unique, to say the least. How did your foster/adoption journey begin?
A: After 9 years of infertility we chose to venture down the road of adoption from foster care. We took the MAPP Training classes, got licensed and so it began! We found our first son on the Adopt Us Kids website. He was in foster care in South Dakota. Once the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) cleared we flew to SD and flew home with a 4-year-old! It’s been a whirlwind ever since.
Q: How has CAP helped you and your family?
A: CAP has been a part of our journey from day one. Veronica Black was our MAPP trainer when we got licensed. Her personal insight and connections in the foster adoption world have been invaluable.
At one point in our first adoption we were experiencing some contract issues so we reached out to Veronica. One phone call was all it took, and she had the entire situation handled.
Our most recent two adoptions were placed using CAP, now that they are an adoption agency on top of being an advocacy organization. CAP helped match us with the sibling group, handled all of the contract negotiations and did the adoption supervision visits. Our worker would come regularly to see if there was anything we needed advice or help with.
Q: What might your typical day look like?
A: A typical day starts around 5:00am. I try to get up before the kids to have a cup of coffee before the chaos begins. The kids start to trickle down soon after. I make the lunches, and get backpacks packed, while they eat breakfast. Once they’re dressed and ready for the day the buses take them off to school. Many days there are various appointments or therapies for one or more of the kids.
After school we have activities most days from piano lessons to Girl Scouts to dance. We’re here, there, and everywhere. Then there’s dinner, chores, baths and homework. We do a family activity each night such as family game night, puzzle night or yoga, to name a few. Then there’s bedtime stories, songs and prayers.
I usually stay up until 11pm or 12 to get through the dishes and laundry. Most nights there are a few nighttime wake ups, as many of our children experience nightmares related to their past and need consoling.
Our days are loud and full of chaos, but they’re also meaningful and full of love.
Q: How do you prepare yourselves and your children when you bring in new additions to the family?
A: We always make the decision as a family if we feel we have room for more. Our children have become just as passionate about adoption from foster care as we are. They see the faces of the 120,000 children waiting for a family in our country, and they want to do something about it. Some people would think having a big family is a detriment to our children, but we see it as just the opposite. Our children are able to see outside themselves, and into this big world that needs help. They have empathy beyond their years. Their energy and enthusiasm keep us going.
Q: What have you learned along the way?
A: When we began this journey we were naive about the effects that past trauma would have on our children’s present day lives. We thought that since they were now in a safe, stable family, they would be fine. But their past is still very much a part of them. The healing process is not done overnight. It’s a process we work at together every single day. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.