We are so happy to announce that the Lafortune family is the second-place winner of our 2020 Faces of Family contest! Congratulations to the Lafortunes! They have won a Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 camera, generously donated by our sponsor, Broadway Camera. Visit them today for all your camera and video needs!

Read more about the Lafortune family and how they adopted sibling boys through the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). 

Can you briefly describe your family?

We are Mom (taking the photo), Dad, two energetic boys, and two crazy chihuahuas (running laps around the yard when the photo was taken). We are fairly young parents and our boys were older when they were adopted, but we make it work. We are sometimes asked if we are all siblings, which can be awkward!

Can you tell us a bit about your experience with the adoption process overall?

We met our boys when they were 7 and 8. We had already been approved to adopt by MCFD and had come across their profile. Our social worker had suggested other potential matches, but something about their profile grabbed our attention: two brothers with mischievous grins, described as high-energy adventure seekers. We were in the position to adopt two children and thought, “Well, here they are!”

After a few Skype meetings with the boys, we met them in their foster home. Because they were older, we could already see their little personalities and could identify interests that we would share as a family: outdoor adventure, cooking, gardening, and creative pursuits.

The first year was very difficult and stressful for everyone involved. Our kids were doing their best to navigate their new school, their new family, their new home, and we did our best to figure out parenthood. We had lots of counselling, lots of activities together, lots of exercise, and we tried to keep a general routine every day. We survived, our bonds strengthened, we learned to trust each other, and we are now a VERY strong family unit.

What’s your best bit of advice for families considering adopting?

Consider older children. They can have baggage, but they also have resilience and unbelievable strength.

Can you tell us about one high point and one challenging point in your adoption experience?

There have been many high points, but it has been especially heart-warming to see the boys’ confidence grow. They walk tall, they speak their minds, and they are happy with who they are.

A challenge has been the isolation that comes from living a unique experience. Our children have experienced heartbreak and as a family, we have absorbed that. Even as their parents we don’t know much about their younger years, but we are trying to walk beside them as they work through it.

Behaviours, big feelings, big questions, and trauma triggers are everyday things in our family. That is not something anyone else understands unless they’ve been through it themselves.

How has the Belonging Network made a difference to your family?

The online resources are invaluable, especially during COVID-19.