August 17 is an important day for Missy and Chris Ewing and their children. They adopted their daughters, Lilly and Cici, on the same August date, five years apart. “It’s a special day of creation for our family,” Missy says. “It’s sister day.”
Eight years ago when their biological sons, David and Tim, were ages 6 and 3, the Ewings became certified foster parents through Lilliput, a part of Wayfinder Family Services, and started their search for a daughter.
“We knew from the first day we met Lilly, she was a part of our family,” Missy says.
At first, 4-year-old Lilly was so happy to be home with the Ewings. But Missy and Chris soon noticed that Lilly was coping with trauma and fear by disconnecting from the world, which is called dissociating. “Lilly had suffered a lot of broken attachments,” Missy explains. “Every time something scared her she would retreat.” Lilliput recommended a child therapy center. In therapy, Lilly gained better coping skills. “As a family, we learned tools to help her identify when she was feeling anxious,” says Missy.
When they started thinking about a second adoption, Lilly asked for a sister. Missy and Chris went to a Lilliput event for prospective adoptive parents. There, they saw a photo of 10-month-old Cici—and fell in love.
“She was our match,” Missy remembers. “She did not fit the profile we thought we were looking for. At birth, she had club feet, and her hips were not in alignment.”
When she joined the family, Cici could not sit up without help or move independently.
Now, after hip surgery, she can sit up, scoot and crawl. She is getting closer to walking.
Having a sister is a joyful experience for Lilly. “It’s all about dress-up clothes and princesses,” says Missy. As the biological mother of two boys, she adds, “This is an entire chapter of my life that I wouldn’t have had without adoption.”
Before Cici’s hip surgery, Missy worried that Cici’s intensive post-surgery needs would take attention away from the other children. One evening after surgery, Missy kept an
eye on Cici, who was on a bean bag chair watching a show. One by one, each of the children came in from homework or other activities.
“They gathered around Cici,” Missy remembers. “Someone brought her a book. Another brought her favorite stuffed animal. They cuddled around her watching Winnie the Pooh without anyone asking them to. They were her siblings. They understood what she needed, and they had taken care of it.”
The Wayfinder Impact Council is now accepting applications for new members. This special group of volunteers gives their time, energy and talents to raise awareness and funds for Wayfinder.
COVID-19 has changed the way we all do business and in-person events may not be possible for some time. Virtual meetings have become the new norm. Wayfinder needs passionate, innovative ambassadors who can create meaningful opportunities to engage our current donors and recruit new supporters.
- Make an impact on the future of our community’s most vulnerable: those with disabiliites, children in foster care, those who have been abused and neglected and many, many more.
- Expand your professional network. 9 Give back and join an organization with a rich history spanning over 65
- We are accredited by the Council on Accreditation and we receive the highest ratings from Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau. These achievements mean we have exemplary financial, operations and program management.
- If not you, then who? We need dedicated, generous, compassionate champions. Now, more than ever!
Visit www.wayfinderfamily.org or contact Vanessa Botshekan, associate vice president for Development and Donor Relations email@example.com or 323-295-4555 x205 to learn more.
April 28, 2021