Fredericksburg Parent

November 2019

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14 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • November 2019 Sarah Bratt always felt that when it came to starting a family, she would choose adoption. She and her husband, Mike, are now the parents of three children from Ethiopia. "My husband and I chose adoption for many reasons," she says. "We both have genetic issues on both sides of our families that we did not want to risk passing on. I also have two aunts who I grew up with who were adopted, so I have always known I wanted to adopt." The couple adopted their first two children, 13-year-old twin girls, roughly nine years ago, and their 9-year-old daughter five years later. "Adoption," says Bratt, "is a beautiful way to grow your family. It's not easy, but neither is childbirth. I have learned so much and connected with a wonderful community of friends who have been super supportive." Bratt, her husband, and their kids have been able to grow and bond as a family thanks to a support system of doctors, therapists, and teachers who've helped the children overcome emotional and behavioral issues due to past trauma. "They are thriving now," Bratt says. While some parents opt for adopting internationally, others adopt within their own families due to unfortunate circumstances or choose to adopt children through foster care. The Children's Home Society of Virginia (CHS) is a licensed child-placing agency that has been helping families adopt since 1900. Between 40 and 50 children are adopted through CHS each year, with most of them coming from foster care. "There are lots of reasons why people choose to adopt," says Anna Yates, a post-adoption social worker who works with CHS. "The people who are most successful have a desire to help children heal, learn and grow. They want to see children thrive. That is their biggest motivator." WRITTEN BY BRANDY CENTOLANZA Local Families Share Their Stories National Adoption Month Adoption... is not easy, but neither is childbirth." - Sarah Bratt " THE BRATT FAMILY Why I Adopted

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