Choosing Arms Wide
Kaysie had always been open to adoption, but her husband, Jady, wasn’t sure if that was the right path for their family. After Kaysie was diagnosed with PCOS, she realized it’d be very difficult to conceive naturally and started talking to coworkers who had adopted. When Kaysie heard about Arms Wide through a coworker, she persuaded her husband to come along to an Information Meeting in March 2015. That first meeting sealed the deal for The Nelsons! They decided fostering to adopt was the way they were meant to grow their family, and filled out their application that very night. Throughout the process of preparing to be foster parents, Kaysie and Jady liked how Arms Wide made each step simple and accommodated them when they had to miss a training event. Arms Wide helped The Nelsons remember paperwork deadlines, and set Kaysie’s mind at ease when she learned support services for their kids would continue long after their adoption was finalized.
Finding Their Three
On August 17, 2015, they received a call about an emergency placement of two sisters, 22-month-old Lesly and 10-month-old Samantha. The couple had been waiting to receive a call that felt right, and, after talking it over, The Nelsons knew that Lesly and Samantha were meant to be their daughters. They agreed to foster them with the hope of adopting them in the future.
The first few weeks were exhausting, to say the least. Lesly struggled to sleep because she was afraid of cribs, and both girls found it difficult to understand a forever home after being moved so frequently. As the girls were still settling in, Kaysie and Jady learned that Lesly and Samantha’s birthmother was pregnant. The Nelsons decided they wanted to keep the siblings together, and their caseworker helped them move forward in plans to foster and adopt the girls’ little sister. On December 8, 2015, Ginny was born, and she joined The Nelson household on December 11th. Kaysie says they were excited to pick up Ginny at the hospital:
“She was wrapped up like a Christmas present,” Kaysie remembers. “She was just so cute.”
Though the three sisters hadn’t officially joined The Nelson clan, Kaysie, Jady, and their extended family poured all their love into the girls while the couple fostered them. On April 27, 2017, Samantha, Lesly, and Ginny officially became Nelsons!
Kaysie and Jady are grateful for support through Early Child Intervention services. Their caseworker referred them to the service, which evaluates and helps kids with whose development has been delayed. Kaysie especially liked how both CPS and Arms Wide made sure that her girls were getting the right care by keeping track of their progress.
Their daughters might be young, but The Nelsons talk to them about adoption. They tell them about their other biological siblings, who weren’t part of their adoption, and point out when characters in books or movies were adopted just like them. Kaysie says that Lesly likes to proudly exclaim “I’m adopted!” even though she still is too young to grasp the full meaning of her words. Nevertheless, they are glad that their girls hear adoption talked about openly and know that it’s a beautiful way of growing a family.
Adopting From Foster Care
Kaysie says that other people often make comments about her and Jady, praising them for being “so brave” for adopting, especially adopting three young children out of foster care. But Kaysie looks at the situation differently, explaining:
“Once we heard at an Arms Wide training about all the kids in foster care, it was a no-brainer. Knowing what my kids came from makes it a no-brainer.”
Sometimes The Nelsons are on the receiving end of stares since their kids are a different race than them, and sometimes they’re asked intrusive questions like, “Would you love a biological child more?” Kaysie knows her answer: “I don’t know how I could love these kids anymore. I don’t know how my family could love these kids anymore.”
To other people considering foster care and adoption, Kaysie wants to dispel concerns. Questions like: “Will these kids love us back?” “Will they be good kids?” “Will all the work and stress and heartache be worth it?” ended up being non-issues for The Nelsons. “It’s drops in the bucket compared to the family we built,” says Kaysie.