DN family honored for efforts in foster and adoption community
DEL NORTE — A Del Norte family will be honored by the Colorado Department of Human Services for their efforts in the foster and adoption community.
November marks the beginning of National Adoption Month and each year, a family that has gone above and beyond in the adoption and foster care community is recognized for their efforts. This year, the Colorado Department of Human Services has chosen the Ledford family of Del Norte.
Taylor and Dylan Ledford never thought that they would become foster parents let alone parents to four wonderful, adopted children but that is exactly what happened, and neither would change it for the world. Their story began as many do, with just a sprinkle of fate and a whole bunch of providence which led them down the path of foster care and then eventually adoption.
“We lived in Greeley and my husband, Dylan, was a teacher and our oldest and him became close in terms of teacher and student friendship. Eventually, after being there for a few years, he got to three out of the four children we ended up adopting. We knew their story and the situation they were going through in terms of their foster parents and then they had to be emergency removed into another family who happened to be another teacher at the same school,” explained Taylor.
Taylor continued to explain that through the path of providence, or happenstance, her husband remained friends with the teacher and commenced with plans to move to Del Norte.
“When COVID happened, we decided to move, and Dylan was pretty bummed he wasn’t going to say goodbye because we were moving, so he reached out to the foster parent who informed us that she was not going to be able to keep the children and we are looking for an adoption family,” said Taylor.
It was at this point that Dylan and Taylor took their time in making a big decision and it was because of this that they would later be recognized for their efforts as adoptive parents. In Colorado, there are an estimated 3,738 children in foster care. There are 37 children in Rio Grande County waiting for permanent homes.
“That morning I prayed, and I said OK, we’re ready for children whatever that may mean because adoption had already been on our hearts and foster was on the table for a while but so was biological children. I just kept thinking, my gosh, what are the odds that their foster family were looking for an adoption family? So, we put our names in the adoption pool for our children and it all worked out,” said Taylor.
It was a rollercoaster ride for the family after that. The children were introduced to Dylan and Taylor. Dylan and Taylor and their four new children moved from the suburbs of Greeley to the tiny mountain town of Del Norte which was a shock all in itself. “Surprisingly the children adjusted rather quickly. There were moments where things were hard, one being going to such a small school and making friends, but they made it through and now they love it,” said Dylan.
Now the family spends time traveling and recreating outdoors in and around Del Norte.
“The children always say things like, ‘Wow! Look at that sunset! I would have never seen that in Greeley!’ Or they will beg to go for a hike, it really has turned out to be the best,” continued Dylan.
Next the Ledfords will be traveling to Denver to receive an award for their efforts as adoptive parents with their children, now ages 12 to 16 alongside them.
“We recognize families for their extraordinary efforts in adoptive and foster families. The Ledfords stood out because of their age, they are a young married couple and for their willingness to adopt four siblings. Sometimes in adoption situations, siblings can be split up so when we can keep them together, that is a wonderful thing,” said Adrienne Baxter, who is a Colorado Department of Human Services Recruitment and Retention Communications Specialist in the Office of Children, Youth and Families.
When asked if they could say anything to the community, both Baxter and the Ledfords had the same response.
“Don’t be afraid to try. It doesn’t matter your age, whether you’re married or single. We are looking for families to open their hearts and their homes to a child. It can be a rewarding experience,” they said.
For more information visit, www.cdhs.colorado.gov.