FAMILY: Bound By Love
From a very young age Rebecca Buchmiller was drawn to the needs of children, she knew she wanted to adopt, but when she made that decision with the support of her husband she didn’t realize how dramatically her life would change.
“Understanding the amount of time and resources that it takes to surpass trauma and grief was surprising” says Rebecca now a Social Services Consultant in the California Department of Social Services Permanency Policy Bureau. “However, making that decision really opened my eyes to the needs of children.”
Rebecca and her husband adopted Sara and Mary out of foster care. From the start the sisters, ages nine and four, found their forever home and began to bloom with the love and support of a stable environment. The blossoming, however, did not come easy or without strife. “They experienced adversity at very young ages and the transition between families was a real challenge,” says Rebecca. As a new mom she was experiencing firsthand the hardships foster children face and developing a better understanding what it is like to be born into adversity.
Rebecca’s love and understanding of her children developed into patience and a growing consciousness of the need for awareness in adoption. Although not without challenges, the joy of the experience turned into an inner calling that led her to take another leap of faith by going back to school to major in Human Services, “my passion advocating for my own children, lead me to pursue a career in social work.”
Rebecca did not stop there she also co-founded the Capitol Adoptive Families Alliance, a volunteer run non-profit corporation that provides support to adoptive parents. Rebecca and her co-founder drew from their own experiences and professional training to establish a program that provides a wide variety of services to adoptive families including peer-led support groups, respite care and a family summer camp.
As for her families story, after adopting, Rebecca and her husband enjoyed the love of children so much they had two more, Elizabeth and Bradley, who admire and love their older siblings. Sara and Mary, now in their twenties, work full-time and enjoy spending time with both adoptive and biological families. Rebecca’s greatest appreciation from adopting is that “not only do the children join your family, but in many ways we join their family too. In our case we’ve all become one big family.”
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L to R: Mary (21), Elizabeth (15), Bradley (11), and Sara (27)
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