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February 14 2022 12:00 am

‘Home for the holidays’: A Kanawha County family’s journey to adoption

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – There is nothing better than being with family for the holiday and one Kanawha County family can say that officially this Christmas after their foster journey.

It may look like your typical holiday picture, but these photos are marking a very special day. The classic phrase “home for the holidays” means a little more to the Mundy-Alderman family this year. Their t-shirts really say it all: it’s adoption day for this family of four!

“With a lot of determination and praying and focusing we are finally here. We are at our happy day today,” says Lloyd Alderman.

When you look at the smiles and hear those laughs you would never know that this crew hasn’t always been together. It all started ten years ago when Mitchell Mundy and Lloyd Alderman got together. A few years later they knew they wanted to grow their family, so they looked into becoming foster parents and with nearly 7,000 kids in the West Virginia foster care system, their help was greatly needed.

“We have young adolescent children with no place to go, sitting in shelters some sitting at the DHHR office and they just need someone that can hold their hand,” says Annie Blankinship with Braley and Thompson Family and Youth Services.

Lloyd and Mitchell extended their hands and opened their hearts and home. In September of 2019, they received the call that would change their lives. Bryton was just a few days old and his big brother Brayden was just a year.

“When we got Braydon on that first night we were giving him a bath and we were strangers to him, and he went and gave us the biggest hug, and that moment we just knew where we wanted to go with this,” says Alderman.

Over the last two-and-a-half years, they lived and loved together for birthdays, holidays, camping and every family vacation in between! And while each moment has created a special memory, perhaps none was quite as special as when they found out they were officially going to become a family.

“We were actually at Disney World and we were checking the Supreme Court website. We got off a ride at Disney and we looked and there it was and we were at one of the magical places in the world to hear the magical news,” Alderman adds.

Now they march together into a courtroom that doesn’t look as magical as Disney but holds just as much happiness.

In front of friends and family, there wasn’t a dry eye as they swore to love and protect Bryton and Brayden in front of the same judge who married the two just a year prior.

“So much of what we do every day as circuit court judges is terminate people’s rights and things that aren’t pleasant, so when we have the opportunity to put families together as opposed to taking them apart it’s absolutely the best thing we can do,” says Judge Joanna Tabit.

It was a journey that at times felt rocky and for the boys, life didn’t start off easy so while they will respect the past, they will focus on what lies ahead.

“All we can see is the future,” says Mitchell Mundy, “it is gut-wrenching it is a hard thing to do but you have to remember in the back of your mind why you are truly there. This is their day, and they are going to be able to have a family and a great family.”

As the ink dried Lloyd and Mitchell had one more message before taking their boys home. They were at one time fearful that that being a gay couple would hold them back from starting a family, but they were welcomed into the foster care system and now want other couples in the LGBTQ community to know they are wanted too.

“I try to tell people that are interested in fostering you need two things, and those two things are you need to have lots of love and an extra room that is it and you can change a child’s life,” adds Alderman.

Blankenship also added that Braley and Thompson encourage and welcome ALL types of families to become foster parents.

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