When Liam came into the home of DePaul foster parents Sharon and Mitch Lawson, he no longer had legal ties to his biological parents and was available for adoption. After experiencing disappointment when family members did not adopt him, Liam was guarded when he entered the unfamiliar home of the Lawsons. Sharon and Mitch had adopted their son, Bradley, over ten years before and did not have any intention of adopting again. That soon changed once Liam settled into their lives. When asked if he wanted to stay in their home, Liam said yes. “He was instantly a part of our family,” Sharon said of their decision to adopt Liam. “He belongs here and we couldn’t watch him leave.”
Sharon recalls how attached Liam was to his biological mother even though she was abusive throughout Liam’s younger years. It was hard for Sharon to hear how often Liam spoke about his mom but she never discouraged him from talking about where he came from. Her patience has made it all the more worthwhile when Liam says things like, “I have a family now”. Supporting children through their ups and downs is not new to Sharon, who has been working with children for 21 years. “It is not my place to convince children that the life they had before was bad,” said Sharon.
“All I can do is take care of them, let them grow, and let them find their own way.” — Sharon Lawson
Sharon and Mitch find joy in having both of their boys at home and watching them grow. Liam is very easygoing and smart and enjoys participating in chorus competitions at school, and singing for his mom while she cooks dinner. He likes to get outside, hike with his family, and play card games with his older brother. He talks about joining the military someday and will join the ROTC when he enters eighth grade. The Lawsons continue to foster and have had five children in their home since they adopted Liam. “I enjoy the work,” said Sharon.
“I have always felt like this was what I was supposed to be doing with my life.” — Sharon Lawson
Read related: Become a Foster Parent
Read related: Become an Adoptive Parent