It is often said that when we give something to the universe, we get something equivalent back. So, if you are kind to someone, you would get back that kindness in return. Similarly, if you do evil unto someone, you are likely to be wronged in return. In this strange equation, the Universe sets itself in a balance. And such a delicate balance has been demonstrated by this Wisconsin mom when she adopted 6 boys. Why? She knew how terrible foster care could be. This Wisconsin mom had once been in that same place herself.
Jessica Benzakein, a resident of Milwaukee, was just 12 when she was placed under foster care. Her mother had lost her custody rights. It had almost sealed the fate of Jessica. A caseworker had warned her that she would find it difficult to get a family to adopt her. The reason – she was too old. 12 was not a suitable time to get adopted by a new family.
The Wisconsin mom recalled: “He said, ‘If adoption is your plan A, you are too old,’ ”
And it really turned out to be true. Jessica had to spend 6 years – that is – most of her teens in foster care. She only got out when she was enrolled in college at the age of 18. But she knew she did not have a family. It was a burden that she knew she had to carry. Forever. During the holidays, she rented a room to stay in. Other students went back to their home – their family – to their loved ones. “You’re expected to leave, but I didn’t have anywhere to go,” said the Wisconsin mom.
But now that she was an adult, she knew she could make a difference in the lives of those who had it rough. The Wisconsin mom was already a single mom with 2 boys. But the drive to make a difference was so strong in her that she did not mind adopting 6 boys and make a large family. She took in 14-year-old Carter, 13-year-old Sydney and 17-year-old Will. She took much younger boys too – 8-year-old Buddy and two brothers, T.J of 4, and Kendrick of just 6 years. They soon became close to her biological children 14-year-old Eli and 9-year-old Brenna.
According to Jessica, these children keep her grounded.
Jessica adopted those boys 5 years ago but she recently made it official with all the legal documents. They will always be with Jessica – as a family.
Around 20,000 children age out of the foster system in the United States at the age of 18 or 21. Once they move out of the foster home, they struggle in the brand-new world and soon, they become homeless and unemployed. It just deepens the homelessness situation that we have in the USA.
But Jessica has a purpose. She wanted to give the children a family. She did not want them to go through the same thing that she went through. The Wisconsin mom mentions: “I went through my 20s thinking I didn’t really need a family. But I did. They give me a purpose.”
And these kids will have a family because of Jessica.
Image: Meredith Corporation