PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – A child who is adopted out of foster care is more likely to go to college and become self-sufficient, but adoption can also be healing for the parents. Recently, 13-year old Schianne and her parents, Erica and Chad, took on the bowling lanes at Boondocks Fun & Food in Parker.

 

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“It is my first time bowling,” Schianne told CBS4. “Chad has this crazy, goofy, routine…and it’s hilarious.”

This new family was formed through adoption, and was born out of staggering loss.

“It was really hard, just living in cars, like being around gangs and drugs. My whole family did drugs. And, like your parents not really caring and you have to grow up on your own,” Schianne said of her life before foster care.

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She went into foster care when she was nine.

“I was like, ‘Ah, there’s no hope for me. I’m too old. Nobody is going to want me because I remember everything. I feel things. Nobody’s going to want me, that’s fine, I’ll just make my own way,'” Schianne told CBS4.

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Chad and Erica had suffered their own loss.

“My husband and I had an older daughter, and she passed away when she was 18,” Erica explained.

“We just believed in our heart that we wanted to parent again, and that the best way to honor our daughter, Avery, was to parent someone else,” Chad said.

All of them were searching for something new. They found each other through an Adoption Exchange program called CHOICE. It pairs teens in foster care with adult mentors.

“The CHOICE program allows you to sample and see, and the kids get to know you, and they get to see,” Erica told CBS4.

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The connection between Chad and Erica, and Schianne was instant.

“She is an amazing, resilient, positive person,” Chad said of Schianne.

“It’s like she was meant to be a part of our family,” Erica said.

“If anything, it’s better than I felt with my real family because I didn’t really feel like I had a place there,” Schianne said.

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The couple adopted Schianne in October of 2018. Now, Schianne is finding her place as a daughter again, and Chad and Erica are taking on the role of parents again.

“I feel like I was born there,” Schianne said.

“I just think it’s a gift. It’s a gift that I get to do it again. It’s a gift that we get to see her through these challenging years,” Erica said.

“To have her in our life can never make up for our loss, however, it’s a reason to live,” Chad told CBS4.

It’s the family that they all needed to heal.

“It feels like normal…and it feels good,” Schianne added.

On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, CBS4 will be celebrating the families that are created through adoption. We’ll be raising money and awareness of The Adoption Exchange, the experts in finding permanent connections for older children in foster care.

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