An Interview With Laura Leigh Hughes
Laura Leigh Hughes is a certified Foster/ Adoptive parent through WCC. She fostered Maleigha from August 2009 to February 2010. She officially adopted Maleigha on May 28, 2010
What led to your decision to become a foster-adopt parent through Westside Children’s Center?
When I made the decision to adopt, Jennifer Perry at the Children’s Action Network referred me to Westside Children’s Center (WCC). All of the classes I took through WCC were very informative and they really let you know what it means to be a foster-adopt parent. Also, everyone at WCC was so supportive, and knowing that they were there for me made the whole process so much easier. While there are a lot of steps that I had to take, I appreciated going through all of it because it made me feel so much more prepared to be a mother.
When I got the call, I said to myself ‘Wow, they are calling ME!’ I burst into tears because it was just so surreal and exciting. I feel very lucky because everything went so smoothly. Finally having Maleigha was a dream come true. Honestly, I knew that I was meant to be her mother, and she was meant to be my daughter.
What was your experience once Maleigha was placed?
It was great. We had weekly visits with Megan Kale, our WCC Social Worker. Megan would come to the house and answer any questions that I had. She was wonderful with Maleigha. It was so important to have someone there to listen to you and answer all of your questions.
Do you still keep a relationship with her foster family?
Absolutely. Maleigha had a whole foster family, including five foster siblings who truly loved her. Just looking at photos, I could see the bond that they had formed. They hold a part of her life that I don’t know and I want them to stay connected to Maleigha. I had a necklace made for her foster mom with Maleigha’s birthstone, and she gave me a basket of Maleigha’s things. Her foster mother was an amazing mother to her, and I will forever be grateful for everything they have given her. It worked out so beautifully because now Maleigha will have so many more people in her life who love her.
What has this experience taught you and why do you feel other people should consider fostering or adopting?
There are so many amazing children who need a home and deserve a great life. And I think that going through this as a single person, or really in any situation, it’s so incredibly helpful to have the network of support that WCC provides. It’s like having a family and I don’t believe you receive that from many other agencies. I think that what these children bring to our lives is unbelievable. Being Maleigha’s mom is completely natural to me and brings me such joy every day. I have my daughter now and that has been the greatest gift in my life. Even though it’s such a big and personal decision, I feel that fostering and adoption sincerely enriches lives.