SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - When children are placed in foster care, the goal is to reunify them with their biological families, but when that isn't possible many foster families choose to adopt the child they've taken in and become their forever family.
“Every child deserves loving arms, whether it's for a day, a week or a lifetime,” said Angela.
And that's exactly what Angela and Chris have provided for more than a dozen children.
“We have fostered 14 kids in five years and adopted two,” Chris explained.
They initially set out only to adopt, but decided to foster as well, after learning about the need.
“We thought about that and thought, you know, let's do that. There's no reason we can't help other children while we wait for an adoptive case and so I think we had fostered, I want to say, at least five kids before we got the adoption call for him,” Chris continued.
In fact, when their son Tristan joined their family, Angela and Chris were already caring for two other foster babies one of whom would soon become their daughter.
“Things got a little crazy and then our daughter ended up not reunifying so we got the opportunity to adopt her and the two of them have grown up as siblings so they're very close,” Angela said.
“It's like having twins. It really is like having twins, with them being only five and a half months apart,” added Chris. “He always wants to do what she does.”
Tristan, who has special needs, does his best to keep up with his slightly older sister.
“He's on the autism spectrum,” said Chris.
He just recently started to eat solid food, which is something they weren't sure he'd ever do.
“He's definitely come a long way,” Chris said.
Both children were drug exposed in the womb.
“Our daughter was very, very ill. At five weeks old she was finally released from the NICU,” Angela explained. “So to see her now doing everything that she's doing is remarkable. It's been a blessing to watch these kids grow and exceed what everyone thought they were capable of.”
In two short years, lives have been transformed.
“It's definitely changed me,” Chris said. “I never thought I could open up my heart to kids that weren't my own, you know?”
And while reflecting on their journey can be emotional, Chris and Angela are so full of gratitude for the two precious children who are now part of their forever family.
“You know, I don't think I could love them anymore if I tried,” said Chris. “They've got my whole being, they've got my whole heart.”
If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.