Two SWFL families with kids of their own felt called to adopt

Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
adoption day

Two Southwest Florida couples felt that their families wouldn’t be complete without adopting, so they opened their homes.

“We did it because I felt that the kids needed a second chance,” said Lelasha Jennings.

James and Lelasha adopted 3-year-old Kaydee and 1-year-old Devin this week since their mother couldn’t care for them. “Some people are just not made to be a mother and it’s sad because it’s the kids that hurts, not the mother,” Lelasha said.

So, the Jennings decided to step up and save the kids from a life of uncertainty. She said, “There’s a lot of kids in the system that need a place to be loved and show them and teach them the right way to be loved.”

The Jennings already have four children of their own but they made the decision to adopt. They realize that, sadly, there are other children out there who need a home, love, and a forever family.

Lelasha said, “I wish I could do more but I can’t take any more in.”

As for Christina Kellner and Daniel Parabak, they adopted 9-year-old Nathan and 4-year-old Silas.

The boys are Parabak’s nephews and spent two years in foster care with Children’s Network of SWFL and another year with a relative.

“Eventually I had to make a choice of what’s best for their welfare, and we can’t have them going from home to home to home and that was really… that was tough for me,” Parabak said.

“We were on our way to vacation and we got the call, and they said do you guys want them?” the couple said. “We actually wanted them from the start, so when the caregiver called us and said ‘are you willing to take them?’, we were like absolutely.”

Much like the Jennings family, they already have kids of their own. “It’s a lot. We already have two kids that we raise – teenagers – so it was like starting over again, so it’s a lot for a very busy household now.”

But they love their busy household and wouldn’t have it any other way.

November is National Adoption Month and according to the National Adoption Network, there are 120,000 children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the U.S.

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