November is National Adoption Month. In celebration, Upbring is sharing the story of the Vasquez family, one of our most recent adoptions.
In Daniel and Susie Vasquez’s home, there is always room for one more. In fact, they just moved into a bigger house in San Antonio to create more space for their newly expanded family.
That family of seven includes two biological sons, ages 23 and 13; an adopted son, Ezekiel, age 10; and 2-year-old LaVonne Diego Vasquez, whom they adopted through Upbring Foster In Texas in August 2022. Rounding out the household is LaVonne’s younger half-sister, Luna*, whom they hope to also adopt.
Their story proves: Love is what makes a family.
Opening Their Hearts and Home
As they raised their first two sons, Daniel and Susie knew they wanted to become foster parents. A hysterectomy meant Susie, a stay-at-home mother, could no longer have children herself — but she and her husband still had so much love to give.
In their more than 15 years as foster parents, the Vasquezes have opened their hearts and home to children of all ages, including some with special needs. Most were eventually reunited with their birth families, as is often the goal in foster care. They consider each child a blessing, no matter how long they are in their care. “We’re here to give children the safety that they are waiting for. I enjoy being there for them for as long as they need it,” Susie explains.
But children whose parents’ rights have been terminated because of abuse or neglect can be eligible for foster-to-adoption. That’s how Ezekiel came to join their forever family. Several years later, the Vasquezes felt they had room for one more child. LaVonne was placed with them in January 2021, and they instantly fell in love with the sweet baby boy. “It’s been a match made in heaven ever since,” shares Erika Noriega, Area Director for Foster Care and Adoptions.
Then, right before Thanksgiving 2021, Susie and Daniel got a call about Luna. At five days old, she too needed a foster home. The couple agreed, and she was in their arms that very evening. The Vasquezes rushed to stock up on bottles, formula and diapers, and to secure another crib and baby swing. They also gratefully accepted donations from family and friends.
“It’s been an adjustment, having babies and toddlers in the house again. We had to relearn how to do certain things,” admits Daniel, who works as a nurse.
By now the family has settled into a joyous routine. The older Vasquez children enjoy playing with little LaVonne and Luna. Daniel adds: “Every time I see my kids, I know this is where they are meant to be.”
After more than a year and a half in foster care, the Vasquezes officially adopted LaVonne on August 30, 2022. They credit Upbring’s timely, thorough communications for helping them meet every milestone and requirement along the way. Daniel describes LaVonne’s adoption day with a sense of relief: “It took the weight off our shoulders, knowing he’s now our son.”
Today, LaVonne is an active, playful and oh-so-loveable toddler. Since joining the Vasquez family, he has learned to walk, talk and use baby sign language (he especially loves giving high fives!). Luna, meanwhile, is crawling all around and on the verge of taking her first real steps. After two-plus decades of raising boys, Susie enjoys having a girl in the house.
The Vasquezes see each day as an opportunity to raise their children with their shared values. “I want them to grow up to be generous adults who treat everybody kindly and with respect,” Daniel says.
“We’re here to support them through their goals, whether that’s going to college or something else,” adds Susie.
Their advice for others considering fostering or adoption? Lean on every possible resource. Support can come from organizations like Upbring or from other foster and adoptive families. For example, Daniel and Susie feel well prepared to answer questions from their 10-year-old, who is naturally beginning to wonder about his birth family.
“Remember you’re not the first one to ever go through [the foster-to-adoption journey],” Daniel says. “There is a lot of good advice out there to help you through the process, so take advantage of it.”
Want to adopt in Texas? Like all of Upbring’s adoption programs, Foster In Texas works diligently to provide nurturing forever homes for the children we serve. Learn more about foster-to-adoption in Texas here.
*This story is true, but we have changed this child’s name to protect their identity.