"He brings us so much joy."
For Nydia Roldan, a mother of two grown children who are now in their mid-20’s, traveling with her partner, Jose, was her new pastime. “Jose and I were beginning to spend some weekends away. With my kids who are now young adults, I had some time for myself," she stated.
Those plans quickly changed when Jose's relative gave birth to a baby boy and DCF asked for their support. “Leeland spent his first three weeks in a foster home until he was placed in my home,” explained Nydia, who understood the placement to be a temporary special study arrangement until his Mom could get the help that she needed. Unfortunately, Leeland’s Mom was unable to safely care for Leeland and Nydia was asked to adopt him. “He became my priority. It has been all hands-on deck for Jose and me since the first day Leeland joined our family. We could never do this alone."
Nydia works full time and depends on the love and support of her grown children and extended family. “It’s amazing to be a big sister again, that’s something I’ve always taken pride in having an older brother," said Nydia's daughter, Emily, who is 25 years old.
Social Worker Kelly Stratton stated the family embraced Leeland from the beginning. “When Leeland was placed in their care they immediately took the reins as caretakers. The family handled all aspects of his needs. The love they have for Leeland was evident and we're so happy they are now a forever family," she stated.
At the adoption hearing, Nydia expressed her thanks for Kelly and her efforts. "Thank God for people like you," she stated.
During the hearing, it was Jose who had Leeland sit on his lap. His arms wrapped around this little boy who now who has found a permanent home. "Cheese," Jose stated as the camera pointed at Leeland. It was Jose's claps which could be heard in the background as Leeland danced when the proceedings were over.
Although Nydia and Jose never expected to be starting all over again and raising a baby boy, they can’t imagine their home without Leeland. “He brings us so much joy, they said. “Today is a relief, it is so surreal to know that he is all ours.”