The Zoy Family: Hardest, Best Thing
Cimalie Zoy knew she always wanted to be a mom. After two years of trying fertility treatments to become pregnant, Cimalie’s doctor said there was only a six percent chance she would conceive. Despite her devastation, Cimalie knew this would not stop her from becoming a mom. She researched into other options and decided foster care adoption would be the best fit for her.
“I’ve had several friends adopt through the foster care system,” Zoy said. “I knew going in it wasn’t an easy process, and one that had many highs and lows.”
Finding Arms Wide Adoption Services
Cimalie was originally working with another agency. The team there told her it could take over a year to get through the licensing process. Feeling a little defeated, but still determined, Cimalie leaned on a friend from high school. That friend put Cimalie in touch with Arms Wide Adoption Services. Because of Arms Wide Adoption Services’ personalized approach, Cimalie completed a concentrated training program. This allowed her to finish training in one week. Dedicated to the mission, Cimalie licensed her home in under two months.
“From the beginning, everyone at Arms Wide Adoption Services was so welcoming and supportive,” Zoy said. “They held my hand every step of the way.”
Being a single parent, Cimalie oftentimes became frustrated with the process. Despite Cimalie having a lot of love to give, traditional, two-parent households were selected by the state over her profile. When she was finally selected, she only spent a short amount of time with a sibling group of two before a judge decided not to terminate parental rights. It was an overwhelming loss for Cimalie, but she persevered. Soon after this loss, she met Heather and Christopher.
“Hardest, Best Thing”
Cimalie’s friend, Beth, was an attorney ad-litem for a sibling group of four. Separated in foster care, their parental rights were already terminated. Beth reached out to Cimalie about the older siblings. At this point, Cimalie was still grieving the loss of the siblings who returned to their biological home. She was not ready to take on another placement. She referred Beth to Arms Wide Adoption Services who had another family in mind: The Caffreys. Cimalie knew The Caffreys from Arms Wide Adoption Services’ trainings.
A month later, Beth came to Cimalie about the younger twin siblings. Still mourning, Cimalie was hesitant to meet Heather and Christopher, but agreed to meet them a few days later. Within 10 minutes of meeting them, she knew the twins belonged with her. Less than a week after their first meeting, Heather and Christopher moved in with Cimalie. Cimalie says this day, along with adoption day six months later, were her two favorite parts in the adoption journey.
“It’s the hardest, best thing I’ve ever done,” Zoy said.
Nontraditional But Perfect
Today, Cimalie describes her family as “nontraditional.” Another Arms Wide Adoption Services’ family, The Caffreys, adopted Heather and Christopher’s older siblings. Now, Heather and Christopher know their sisters’ parents as Uncle Leo and Aunt CC. The Caffreys and Cimalie were not family before the adoption process, but they are now. Both families have embraced one another. They spend a lot of time together so the children can all continue to connect.
“I now know the why in everything I do,” Zoy said.
Advice For Adoptive Parents
More than a year after adoption day, Cimalie remains an advocate for the foster care adoption process. She shares her journey willingly in hopes more people consider adoption. She encourages future adoptive parents to be patient and flexible. Cimalie says it’s an emotional process, but extremely worth it.
“Many say my kids are lucky to have me,” Zoy said. “I say I’m the lucky one.”
Courtney and Brian Dodge have always wanted to adopt, but years seemed to fly by with no “right time” in sight. That was until their friend started fostering a baby girl through Arms Wide Adoption Services. She talked with Courtney and Brian about the benefits of working with a smaller agency. That’s when Courtney and Brian’s adoption journey officially began.
Rebecca and Chris Wright want families to know adoption is accepting someone with no expectations, and letting them grow at their own pace.