Adoption and the Beauty of Thriving in a New Family

Laura Drevlow, a foster and adoptive mom from South Dakota, understands what it means as a child to want to belong, to be loved. When she was fourteen, a teacher took her in and eventually adopted her after she disclosed abuse.

If her teacher and husband hadn’t said “yes” to adoption, Laura wonders whether she’d be in a position now to have adopted a child from the foster care system. How much different would her life have been if she didn’t get that chance to belong, to be loved, to thrive?

Fortunately, Laura got that chance. She and her husband now have fostered several children ranging from four to sixteen years old. With four children of their own, they open their home and hearts to kids who need a loving family in the midst of a crisis. A crisis that is no fault of their own.

Laura was grateful to foster and to see the kids in their care reunify with their bio families, but eventually she felt like something was missing in their own family. As it turned out, someone was missing.

Laura discovered South Dakota Kids Belong on Facebook and learned about their website. That’s where Laura watched several of the videos produced as part of the I Belong Project ™ .

These videos help connect kids in foster care—who are legally free for adoption—with forever families by giving them a voice. Of the more than 400,000 kids in the U.S. foster care system, 100,000 are unable to be reunified with their biological families and are eligible for adoption.

When I saw Wylynn, I couldn’t stop watching. She was just so kind and beautiful. She had this sweetness about her and I knew I wanted to know more.” Laura Drevlow

After learning more and going through the formal process, the Drevlow family met Wylynn as an introduction towards possibly taking the next step to adoption. However, Laura makes it quite clear that moving forward was completely Wylynn’s choice.

“When we met Wylynn for the first time, we were all so nervous. We wanted to make sure that she had a choice. That she chose us.” That first introduction ultimately led to Wylynn choosing the Drevlow family and they moved forward with the adoption journey. What the Drevlows desired was to give Wylynn a family, but they were given so much more.

Wylynn has given the Drevlows such a gift in return through her warmth, her smile, her hugs, and her ability to be open to love. The Drevlows feel truly blessed by having Wylynn a part of their family. Laura’s own adoption journey gave her a unique perspective about giving another child a chance to thrive. Laura shares a profound thought from her own experience as an adopted child:

“We are real children that just want to belong, to be loved and understood. There’s so much potential in us that can really thrive with just a chance.”

Meet some of the amazing kids in foster care eligible for adoption.

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