New mom is right where she’s needed

This mom believes God calls you where you need to be.

God called Brianna Dennis to study for her master’s degree so she can one day be a social worker in a struggling international country and possibly run her own non-profit agency. He also called her to an internship in children’s services. Brianna was adopted as a child after spending some time in foster care, so she has experienced the system from both sides.

God also put in her life two people who helped her make a decision that would change her young life forever: Her adoptive mom and her minister.

When a worker from Hamilton County Job and Family Services called Brianna to ask her if she would care for her 18-month-old nephew so he wouldn’t end up in foster care, she was a 22-year-old college student. She wasn’t planning to have children. She worked full time and traveled.

But her mom and her minister both gave her the same advice: Don’t make this decision for selfish reasons.

So she got in the car and drove to pick up Alexander. And they’ve been a pair ever since. He’s the son of Brianna’s younger sister, who also was adopted.

“He’s learning to be a human,” Brianna said, “and I’m learning to be a mom. It’s a growing process, the two of us together.”

They’ll officially become mother and son on Nov. 20 during Hamilton County’s National Adoption Day event. That day, 17 of our foster children will be adopted into eight families.

Xander, who’s now 3, is a happy, personable boy who loves riding his tricycle and playing with trucks. He’s doing well in preschool. He and Brianna go fishing together, as well as to the zoo, parks and museums.

Brianna is studying for her MSSW (Master’s of Science in Social Work) and her MNO (Master’s in Non-profit Organization management). She graduated from Berea College, where she earned undergraduate degrees in sociology, peace and social justice and music education. She didn’t think she’d be accepted at Case Western Reserve University, but she was accepted and given a scholarship.

She wanted to be a social worker when she was a child, but her mom always told her she should do something that would pay better. She listened after awhile. But she has since turned back toward that goal and broadened it to include the non-profit management and her plan to work overseas, possibly in Georgia.

“I think your career should call you,” she said, “and I’ve definitely been called here.”

Becoming a mom suddenly and at a young age hasn’t always been easy. But she loves Xander.

“I am the mom he knows,” she said. “He doesn’t know any different. I’m going to raise him and we’re going to have a perfectly fine life. I feel like if you’re supposed to do something, God will make a way for it. And he has.”