DENVER (CBS4) – The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a huge supporter of the Adoption Exchange, working with the organization to do focused recruiting to find loving families for individual kids in foster care. Dave Thomas was the founder of the Wendy’s restaurant chain and instilled the entire company with the importance of adoption.

LINK: The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is making “unadoptable unacceptable”

Mike is a franchise owner of two Wendy’s restaurants and about to open a third.

“I’ve been working with Wendy’s for over ten years, and adoption is one of their closely held values,” Mike told CBS4.

Dave Thomas was adopted himself, and started the national conversation about adopting from foster care.

LINK: A Day for Wednesday’s Child

“I’ve had people work here who grew up in the foster care system and then just age out. They turn 18 and they’re done, and then what?” Mike asked.

It’s a corporate culture that he took to heart. He, his wife, and two boys recently adopted adorable Elizabeth.

wendys 1 Wendy’s Creates Culture For Adoption

(credit CBS)

“It was fun,” Elizabeth said of her adoption day.

The whole family when to court to make the adoption final.

“Cause I even got to sit in the Judge’s seat and talk,” she explained.

elizabeth 2 Wendy’s Creates Culture For Adoption

(credit: Mike)

Elizabeth remembers her life before adoption.

“It was kind of really bad,” Elizabeth said. “There was a lot of fighting going on.”

Now she’s thriving with her new forever family.

“My parents are like taking care of me a lot,” she said. “They tuck me in at night.”

wendys 2 Wendy’s Creates Culture For Adoption

(credit CBS)

Mike admits it was a tough adjustment for all involved, but he has no regrets.

“Especially at the beginning, it was hard,” he said. “I’ll tell you what’s even harder, for kids to go to bed without a hug, for a kid not to be able to say, ‘Hey Mom, look at me.’”

  1. When considering adoption, know your rights. Start off by asking yourself these vital questions:

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