Celest’s story: ‘A family can help change you into the person you want to be.’
Celest had been at the Kids to Love Foundation’s Davidson Farms home for foster girls for almost two years and was ready for a change.
Celest first went into foster care when she was 8. She got out at age 11 but went back into the system four years later. She loved the Farm for helping her grow into a new person, but she was looking for more.
“A lot of people can’t help what they’ve been through and what they’ve become because of that,” she said. “A family can help change you into the person you want to be.”
Now, at age 17, she is becoming that person. She has been adopted, graduated high school and is preparing to attend college.
Her parents, Andrew and Magan Batchelor, felt a connection to fostering. Magan’s family fostered and adopted when she was growing up, so she was familiar with it. Andrew had always thought about adopting a child.
They decided to move forward and took the Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety class (TIPS) that’s required for foster and adoptive families. It was there that they learned how to address issues children in foster care have, and they also learned what their strengths were as a foster family.
Their path led them to Celest. And the Batchelors were willing to be her forever family, even though she was on the verge of adulthood.
“Parenting doesn’t end at 18 years old,” Andrew said. “It doesn’t end at any age, and everybody needs a family and needs a home.”
Now Celest has that home with Andrew, Magan and her new 7-year-old brother and and 2-year-old sister. They’re also preparing for another transition: Celest’s transition to college at the University of West Alabama.
And the family encourages anyone who may be thinking about fostering and adoption to take the next step and see if it’s for them.
“There are more than enough families in the state,” Andrew said. “If more people would act on it, you would have more children finding forever families.”
If you’re interested in becoming a foster family and welcoming a child into your home, contact the Kids to Love Foundation through our website, kidstolove.org.