The first time he fell asleep without fear, it was holding his mom’s hand

“We felt immediately connected to him.”

Elda and Antonino knew they wanted to adopt a child. When they moved from Italy to Los Angeles County, home to one-third of all children in foster care in California, they realized just how critical the need was for parents like them.

The couple found Westside Children’s Center, where they were united with Kemon. He was 2 ½ years old and could barely speak. The journey that took him to WCC and his new home had left him without exposure to language, familiar routines, and – like most foster children – a basic feeling of safety.

PicMonkey Collage

With the support of WCC, Elda and Antonino set out to become the parents Kemon so desperately needed. WCC’s attentive foster care social workers and expert child development specialists helped the family secure behavioral and occupational therapy for Kemon. The new parents became fixtures at WCC’s foster parent support group meetings, and spent Saturday nights with other foster families learning how to help their children heal from trauma.

The sense of security and love that now surrounded Kemon gave him the freedom to blossom. He developed language, made friends at preschool, and started calling his parents Mommy and Daddy.

“I remember when we went to pick him up, he had this face like a little old man,” Elda said. “As the months went on, he looked younger and younger.”

Kemon and family 3

Kemon’s adoption was finalized in June. His parents are looking forward to taking him to Italy in December, where they plan to spend time cooking, playing, and celebrating the holiday season with the cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles he now calls family.

Help Westside Children’s Center unite more children like Kemon with the nurturing foster and adoptive families they deserve.

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