Angela: Going from “Miss Angela” to “Mom”

Through her work as a site coordinator, Angela became an adoptive mother of two boys from the CIS program who needed a caring mom and stable home.

In working with children, there are many times that you hear adults say, “I would take those kids home if could.” For Angela of Mancelona, Michigan, she did just that. Angela’s determination through a yearlong adoption process led to CIS students David and Michael receiving a new mom.

Angela joined Communities In Schools of Northwest Michigan in 2013 as an elementary school program assistant, after learning of the organization through her positive interactions with CIS staff. Angela transitioned into a site coordinator role, where she saw the need to build collaborative relationships not only with students, but also with parents and guardians. It was through this work that Angela saw the power of caring relationships between students and adults.

Angela worked at a CIS afterschool program where she met David and Michael. She learned of the boys’ family history, experience with neglect and being placed in the foster care system. Towards the end of the school year, Angela discovered that the boys were up for adoption. Angela hoped that they would get placed in a good home, so she followed up with their foster mom to inquire about the status of adoption. Angela learned that if the boys’ weren’t adopted by Christmas, the foster parents would proceed with adopting them. In that moment, Angela wondered about stepping in to care for the boys.

Already being a single parent, Angela was unsure if she could become an adoptive mom. The support from Angela’s daughter, friends and family made her think, “why wouldn’t you?”. Eight months later, Angela bridged the gap to became an adoptive parent to David and Michael.

Currently, Angela balances roles as a parent and site coordinator. The adoption of David and Michael became a popular topic of conversation around the school, with questions from students to Angela. It has even influenced other students to want her as their mom. David and Michael remain in the CIS program and are connected to community resources. She maintains the boys’ positive relationship with their former foster dad, who they call “Papa”.

Angela also shared a special message about her role in the school: “Being a CIS coordinator is a unique position within the building because we are here to support the kids we work with…we are able to really zero in on specific kids with specific needs and be of support to them. If we weren’t in the building, who would be doing that?”