Honoring Central Washington angels
Last updated 11/8/2018 at Noon
Last week, I met a couple angels in the Tri-Cities.
No, really: I had the opportunity to sit down with James and Angie Sessions of Pasco.
A few years ago, James and Angie were inspired to become foster parents after learning about the foster care system while at a local church’s camp for children in state custody. The Sessions fostered two separate sets of siblings who ended up being reunited with family members – an experience that came with the very real emotional toll that can come with providing a temporary home.
Even knowing that it would not be easy to continue providing foster care, the Sessions chose to continue. Angie described the peace she felt about their decision: “I didn’t want to separate those kiddos. Give a warm house to kids who came from a lot of nothing. Give them a warm bed and food.”
Angie and James then made the decision to become foster parents for four young siblings – three young brothers and their baby sister named Ajay, Nathan, Kyler, and Layla. After three years of taking care of the siblings, Sessions were determined that the children would remain with one another in the same home.
In August of 2017, the Sessions family grew from two to six when James and Angie officially adopted the four children, giving them the gift of a forever home.
Last week, I met with Angie and James in my Tri-Cities office to present them with the “Angels in Adoption” award. The award is an initiative of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of children through encouraging foster care and adoption. CCAI raises awareness about the tens of thousands of orphans and foster children in the U.S. and the millions of orphans around the world in need of permanent, safe and loving homes through adoption.
November is the 21st annual National Adoption Month, and this year’s theme focuses on the needs of older children who are less likely to be adopted and more likely age out of foster care with strong family support. According to the Children’s Bureau, as of September, 2016, there were 438,000 children and youth in foster care. That same month, the number of children and youth waiting for adoption was over 118,000, and of that number, 13,037 were between the ages of 15 and 17 years old. The need for forever homes is great.
For resources and information on how to adopt or take part in Washington state’s program, you can visit https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/ or https://www.dshs.wa.gov/ca/adoption-and-adoption-support/adoption.
I hope James and Angie’s story will be an inspiration to other families in Central Washington considering becoming foster or adoptive parents.
You never know when you might meet an angel, or even if you might become a child’s angel.