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One millennial mom's foster-to-adoption journey
(SILVERLAKE, Calif) — “He is supposed to be my first child.”
For 34-year-old Mary Beth LaRue of Silverlake, California, and her foster son, ‘Baby A,’ this Mother’s Day will be both of their firsts.
LaRue and her husband Matt Aporta came to the idea of adoption after finding out last May that IVF would have a 3 percent chance of success. “It just didn’t speak to me,” she said.
Foster-to-adoption was a road they were not previously aware of.
LaRue, who is a yoga instructor, knew that one of her students was a foster-to-adopt attorney. She inquired about what that meant, and upon learning more, “every doubt I had about these kids was gone. Matt had the exact same feeling.”
A whirlwind of meetings, training and paperwork followed. The final paper was signed on December 12, 2017.
One week later, the call came. “We found out about Baby A. We took the car seat out of the box and drove to the hospital. That’s how we became parents.”
Mary Beth LaRue and her husband Matt Aporta are foster-to-adopt parents to Baby A.
In its simplest terms, LaRue said, foster-to-adopt is pairing children in foster care with parents who want to become their adoptive parents. The intention is to reduce the number of homes children are moved between in order to provide the most stable environment possible. Birth parents are checked in on periodically to see whether reunification is a possibility.
For LaRue, the fear of not having Baby A in her life is real. But the potential heartache is worth it, she said.
“With every negative pregnancy test there was sadness. Now there is a child in my home actively loving. When we parent we step into the fire, step in knowing there’s a ton of uncertainty. But there’s absolutely nothing we would change.
LaRue wants to destigmatize what it means to foster-to-adopt. “The questions people ask, the things they say to foster parents. ‘Are their drugs involved? Why is he in foster care?’ That’s private. These are moms and kids. We’re going through the same stuff, with some extra layers.”
LaRue told ‘GMA’ that the only way to change the system is to go into it.
“I can’t unlearn what I know,” she said.
Baby A, who LaRue said has “big brown eyes and the sweetest disposition” is almost five months old and just starting to giggle.
LaRue admits there’s uncertainty in the family’s situation, but that it has forced her to live in the present. “When I take him to the park, I’m just so content to be at the park. I wasn’t always like that. Seeing him brings me so much joy, the uncertainty dissolves.”
The couple, who have “amazing friends and an English bulldog named Rosie” love to explore Los Angeles and have been active volunteering with the city’s homeless community. “I’d say what we have in common is our hearts. We both have big hearts.”
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