‘Keep him in the family:’ Lubbock single mom highlights area adoption needs

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 10:31 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Lubbock single mom has adopted her 13-year-old nephew, highlighting two of Lubbock’s greatest adoption and foster care needs - kinship care families and older youth adoption.

Last week, several Lubbock families celebrated the finalization of their adoption journey on National Adoption Day. Hundreds of other kids in the Lubbock area are still waiting for that day. Shahala Hawkins brought that number down by one, adopting her nephew in January.

Hawkins’ work-life balance includes being a single mom to 6-year-old Addyson, working full-time and going to Wayland Baptist University for nursing school.

“Work-life balance is definitely, it can be challenging at times, but I have really good family support and friend support that helps me get through it,” Hawkins said.

Adding to that mix, she stepped up to become a kinship caregiver and adopt 13-year-old Quincy in 2021. She wanted him to be able to spend more time with his aging grandfather, and stay closer to other family members.

“I’d just say like keep him in the family. It was kind of at that time, either he go to like Houston or Dallas. And at that time I was like, well, that’s not ideal. Especially because his brothers were in Amarillo and they’re all fairly close. And so just taking that initiative to accept him and to adopt him was, definitely I feel like beneficial not only for him but for his brothers as well,” Hawkins said.

Jasmine Chavira, Hawkins’ case manager with Buckner Lubbock said, “A lot of our kids have sibling groups of two or more, and we don’t have a lot of homes that can keep them together. Also, for our older youth, we need homes that are able to take our teens in, around 15, 16, even 13 years old.”

Nearly 30,000 kids in Texas are in foster care - about 300 of them are in the Lubbock area. Hawkins says her journey wasn’t easy, but Buckner was by her side through it all. Quincy’s adoption became official in January this year.

“If you asked me before I adopted Quincy if I ever thought about adoption, I would say no, but just knowing their need and knowing that I was in a position to do that and help somebody really helped me,” Hawkins said.

If you want to foster or adopt, Buckner Lubbock hosts informational meetings two to three times a month. You can register for more information here.