N.C. Mom Gets Honest About Adopting Three Kids
There are nearly 12,000 children in North Carolina’s foster care system. Learn how you can adopt a child in need during National Adoption Awareness Month.
All children—no matter their age, race, gender, or socioeconomic background—deserve a loving home and parents to care for and nurture them. Sadly, nearly 12,000 children in North Carolina are in the foster care system and don’t have a place to truly call home.
As we recognize National Adoption Awareness Month this November, organizations like Children’s Home Society of North Carolina hope to shed more light on this reality for youth around the country.
Local mom says adopting three kids was "100 percent worth it"
Growing up, Briana Breneman witnessed first-hand the positive effects adoption and fostering can have on a family—her parents adopted her brothers when they were younger.
"Seeing how they fit into our family – they were no different than my biological sisters – this planted a seed in my heart," Briana said in a testimony.
Once married, Briana and her husband, Chris, discussed the idea of adoption. The couple agreed that opening their home was what they wanted to do.
Over the course of six months, they attended two information sessions hosted by Children’s Home Society and were working with a licensing specialist by summer 2017. By September of that same year, they were licensed. In October, they received a photo of 3-year-old twin boys.
Briana says, after seeing their "sweet faces," she and Chris instantly wanted to meet them. Soon after, the couple met the boys at a local Chick-Fil-A and knew right away that they would fit into their family.
As the process continued, several court delays left the Brenemans feeling unsure of whether things would work out. But they didn’t lose hope.
“Robin Fox was our caseworker,” Briana says. “I’m biased, but she is the best ever.”
A few weeks later, they were sent another photo, this time of an infant girl, Ava, who needed them. (They were licensed to adopt three children.) Within only a few days of meeting her, they were able to bring her home. Just four days after that, December 21, they received the call stating the twin boys needed them too!
The Brenemans went from a family of two to a family of five in only a matter of days. While the process of finalizing an adoption can take time, the couple decided to foster their children until everything could be finalized.
Initially, the couple was so overwhelmed with trying to adjust that they didn’t think they could continue with all three kids.
“The infant wasn’t sleeping, and the boys were bouncing off the walls,” Briana remembers. “We looked at each other like, ‘What did we just get ourselves into?’ … We were too overwhelmed.”
However, she says, “I thought long on it and truly couldn’t imagine them moving again or someone else tucking them into bed at night. We decided to give it more time.”
Within six months, things began to settle down, and the family was able to get into a rhythm. With support and encouragement from their caseworker, Robin, the family was able to overcome these small hurdles. Around this time, they were also notified that all three adoptions had been finalized.
Though it’s been an emotionally difficult journey, Briana says it’s been “100 percent worth it.”
“It’s easy to want to shy away from things that are difficult,” she says, “but if we continue to do that, then we will really miss out on blessings that come from difficult places.”
She continues, “There are kids who need families, and they are beautiful kids with wonderful hearts. Love and consistency go a really long way in bringing healing to their lives. They’ve done much more for me than I have done for them.”
The Brenemans’ story is only one of several adoption successes that have happened across North Carolina. In 2019, Children’s Home Society has served more than 18,000 North Carolina children and families and finalized over 200 adoptions.
Opening your home to a child in the foster care system provides something beneficial for everyone involved. For the children, it’s a loving environment, safety, and someone to nurture them as they prepare to enter the world as an adult. For the parents, it’s a feeling of being complete and knowing that they helped shape the future of a child in need.
In an effort to educate more people on the foster care system and adoption, Children’s Home Society of N.C. has several resources available for reference. See below for some quick links to everything you need to know about fostering or adopting in North Carolina: