Family grows by two on Friday

Every December 31, people all around the globe are thinking “new”. Hovering on the cusp of a fresh year, we look out toward the horizon with the hope that no matter how the current year went, the next one will be better and brighter. 

For sisters Lily and Myka, New Year’s Eve 2019 was the beginning of a new chapter that would see dreams realized and meet their deepest desires to be safe and secure, happy and healthy. To become part of a new family. For Tiffany and Jason Moore, welcoming the siblings into their home and hearts as foster parents would be the catalyst for a bond beyond what they’d imagined. The Moores will adopt the girls Friday as part of our annual National Adoption Day ceremonies.

When JFS Adoption Worker Amber Sawyer thinks about Lily and Myka, two words come to mind: brave and resilient. By the time they were placed with the Moores, it was their third home after coming into custody. At 10 and 5 years old respectively, their journey has been a difficult one. 

“They are so young and have experienced a lot already,” Sawyer said. “They came from a home that didn’t have water or electricity. Didn’t have a lot of things. That’s a lot to go through for two, young girls. For any young child.

Bravery is the thing that stands out. And they’re always smiling. They’re always happy, regardless. So now it makes it so amazing because this New Year’s Eve, they get to be in their forever home.” 

When Sawyer reflects on the Moores, ‘family’ is what rises to the top.

“Regardless of how busy they get, they always make time for each other and for their family. Whether it’s game or movie nights, they just set aside all the busyness and the appointments and focus on the family.”

She also lauded the Moores for being great advocates for the girls’ needs as soon as they began living with them, making phone calls and initiating services. 

Mrs. Moore highlighted one of their favorite things about the year they’ve shared and what they’re looking forward to as their life together continues to unfold. 

“For my husband and I, it’s all the firsts we’ve had with them,” she said. “Things we maybe wouldn’t have been so excited about at their age because we had the opportunity to already experience. Stuff we take for granted. Like going to the beach for the first time. Any time you are with someone who sees that massive amount of water, it’s huge watching their eyes just light up. Their excitement over being able to stand at the beach and you look out and all you see is water. You don’t see anything on the other side because it’s so big.” 

Lily and Myka have a strong bond with the Moores and their new big sister Chloe, Mr. Moore’s daughter from a previous relationship. And Chloe adores her new little sisters. For the first time in her relatively short life, Lily is learning that though she’ll always be Myka’s older sister, she can now just be a kid. While still protective, she’s understanding and accepting she doesn’t need to parent her anymore. The Moores have noticed how Lily is more relaxed and at ease, trusting that they will meet their needs.  

Friday, when Judge Ralph Winkler makes everything official, another new chapter will begin. New hurts and hopes, new difficulties as well as new dreams. The Moores are excited to watch the girls grow, to watch their personalities develop and to help them identify their wants and needs. To watch their eyes light up as they look out at the big and boundless ocean that is their future.