LivingA Florida Family's Inspiring Adoption Journey

A Florida Family’s Inspiring Adoption Journey

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As siblings in foster care, the fear of being separated is daunting. But thanks to a loving family in Jacksonville, Fla., for two brothers in Ohio, that bond remains unbroken.

Despite Dalton’s cerebral palsy and numerous medical challenges, brother Dawson became his devoted caregiver. The two were adopted by Robbin and Steven Brydges through the nonprofit “Wendy’s Wonderful Kids,” and they’ve become a beacon for disability awareness.

Now, at 15, Dawson said he’s grateful for his parents’ support in keeping them together through it all, as he continues to care for his brother.

Disability

“He is the most amazing brother a man could ask for,” he said. “He has an incredible smile that will just brighten your day instantly. And I’m just blessed to have him in my life, that’s all I can say. I’m just blessed.”

March is National Disability Awareness Month, and Dawson encouraged anyone considering the adoption process to consider all kids – especially those with challenges who are often overlooked, along with older kids – when it comes to finding their forever home.

Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, said children with disabilities or special needs – regardless of race, age, or background – often face prolonged stays in foster care or institutional settings.

She underscored the need to establish a support network for families considering adoption, and said the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Program was created to assist families in navigating this journey, no matter a child’s unique needs.

“Making those connections of access to networks – access to medical or psychological resources that they will need before that adoption is finalized – is critical,” she said, “so that families feel that they will be supported, that they will have access, and that they can successfully raise a child in their home.”

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