Foster care may be a painful experience for children, leaving them feeling insecure and neglected. Jessica Benzakein, a lady from Wisconsin, understands how difficult it can be after being placed in foster care at the age of 12 after her mother lost custody. Getting in the system is challenging enough at any age, but Benzakein was told at the age of 12 that her prospects of being adopted were nearly nil. In a January 2016 interview with TODAY, she claimed.
“‘Your mother has terminated her parental rights,’ my caseworker, Ron, sat me down and said. ‘What’s your back-up plan?’” She was informed flat out that “They believe you are severely wounded and horribly afflicted by the age of 12 and that there is no way to reverse it. Your chances of being adopted diminish dramatically between the ages of 2 and 5.”
Benzakein spent the following six years in foster care until exiting the system when she became 18 years old. Rather of growing bitter as a result of her ordeals, Benzakein opted to utilize her knowledge to help others while also adopting additional children. She already had two biological children by the time she decided on who she wanted to adopt.
Benzakein demonstrated to the world and her family that she has a huge heart by adopting six siblings at the same time so that they would never have to be separated. In January 2020, her plea was granted, and her tale has touched the hearts of millions of people.
Benzakein told TODAY that she spent her first Christmas out from foster care on her college’s campus alone. “You were supposed to depart,” Benzakein said, “but I didn’t have someplace to go.” “In the end, I paid for a room the size of a guest closet.” However, because to her giving heart and unexpectedly large family, she can rest assured that she will not have to spend another Christmas with them.
Benzakein was 46 years old when she decided to do her part to ensure that at least some children would not have to go through the trauma of growing up in the system. She took in six brothers, ranging in age from four to seventeen.
Benzakein already had two boys, Eli, 14, and Brenna, 9, and welcomed Kendrich, 6, and Terrell “T.J.,” 4, who are blood relatives, as well as Will, 18, Carter, 14, Sidney, 13, and Markell “Buddy,” 8.
Because of her personal experiences, Banzakein decided to do something to help older children in foster care. Benzakein had also been separated from her elder brother while in the system, and she did not want any more children to go through what she had. “We have over 7,000 foster kids in Wisconsin alone,” Benzakein told TODAY. “There are a lot of sibling sets, and they’re typically broken apart.” According to MPR News, this may be extremely difficult for siblings, and many older children who are not adopted end up living in foster homes until they are adults.
While Jessica is making a significant difference in the lives of these youngsters, she told TODAY that they are also assisting her. She attributes her “grounding” to her children. “She stated,” she said “Everyone tells me how fortunate these kids are and how excellent of a job I did. But… they grounded me… I’m going to weep. I spent my twenties convinced that I didn’t need a family. However, I did. They give me meaning.”
Benzakein’s family is now just like any other, and everyone in the house loves basketball games, pizza, and a movie on Friday nights. “Here, we have a good time. In a positive manner, it’s pure mayhem “Benzakein was added to the mix.
“They have a safe haven where they may make errors, laugh and joke, and make fun of one another.”
Opening one’s home to foster or adopt a kid is a wonderful way to make a difference in a child’s life. According to the Adoption Network, there are 428,000 children in foster care right now, with a huge proportion of them destined to age out without a family to call their own. Banzakein hasn’t looked back since adopting her sons, and she continues to love and support all of her children.
“For a long time, we’ve been living as a family,” Benzakein remarked. “But no one can tell us now that we aren’t.” Stories like these teach us that there are always decent individuals willing to go above and beyond to make a difference in people’s lives.