Birth & foster family share reunification success - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Birth & foster family share reunification success

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Typically, on Adopt 8, we feature foster children who are looking to find new forever families or success stories of kids who have been adopted. But in this Adopt 8, we show you how a strong relationship between birth parents and foster parents can lead to ultimate success - the reunification of foster children with their birth family.

Little Peyton is only 18-months-old and her success story is the first of its kind to be shared on Adopt 8 and only because her mom Sheena had the courage to tell it.

“I'm sharing my story mainly to give people hope. I want people to know that it's possible to succeed,” explained Sheena.

When Peyton was born, she was immediately placed into foster care, for reasons we aren't revealing to respect Sheena's privacy. Foster parents Angela and Chris got the call that a newborn needed a home.

“I saw her at day three in the NICU and then she came home the next day,” Sheena said.

Sheena was heartbroken, but says, as traumatic as it was it ended up being a priceless gift.

“I knew she was in a safe environment, so that's what helped me through the process, because it was really hard not having her home,” continued Sheena. “And I got to see her twice a week in the beginning so I was still there, but I had to work on me before I could be a good mom to her.”

Sheena says the foster care system and Peyton's foster parents in particular helped her get her life in order with advice and understanding.

“I talked to them on a daily basis, we texted all day, every day,” Sheena said.

And it wasn't long before Sheena and Peyton were permanently reunited.

“Peyton was in care, from the time at birth until nine months old, she came home when she was nine months, and so we've had her in our care now for nine months.” Said Sheena.

“This was a family that desperately wanted their child and they hit a bump in the road and they got to work through it and I think that their family, this child, and everyone is better because of it,” said the foster parents, Angela and Chris.

They're all hoping this story breaks the stigma that children in foster care are forgotten and unloved.

“I don't think we've come across a single birth parent that hasn't wanted their kid. They've, for whatever reason, in their life have made a mistake,” continued Angela and Chris.

Angela and Chris have fostered 10 kids over the past three years and almost all have reunified with their birth families.

And Sheena is grateful to Angela and Chris for helping heal hers.

“I love them, they're like my best friends. We hang out all the time. They still watch Peyton to this day. They babysit while I work,” Sheena added. I couldn't have asked for a better ending, I love it.”

Peyton's mom says the county provided a lot of resources to help her and she encourages foster families to work with birth families toward reunification.

If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.

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