Genesee County family grows by three following foster care, adop - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Genesee County family grows by three following foster care, adoption

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) - (05/07/14) - This is the kind of story we love to tell and it has a very happy ending for the three siblings, now former foster children, at the center of it.

May is National Foster Care Month.

A relative knew the two little boys were in the system. When the boys' sister, just weeks old, was facing the same fate, that relative knew it was time to move forward.  

That relative is Joanne Lincoln. The children's biological father is her cousin.
Up until Wednesday, Joanne and her husband William didn't technically have kids together. They've been married 15 years and have kids from previous relationships - Joanne has one and William has three.

They have grandchildren too, and now three little ones to officially add to the family.

Lahana is almost 2. Landon is 3 and Travis is 4.

"Mine, his and ours now," joked Joanne. "We have grandchildren older than our kids now. We don't care."

They're licensed foster care parents and have a special needs daughter at home too.

But, when it looked like Lahana, Landon and Travis could possibly be separated?

"We knew, beforehand, if it went that far, we were going to adopt them and keep them together, keep them as family," Joanne said.

Genesee County Judge Jennie Barkey OK'ed the adoptions, letting the boys bang the gavel after each declaration.

"(It's) gratifying knowing they're going to have the best that we can provide for them," William said. They're going to grow up in a happy atmosphere, not one that's full of tragedy and that, to me is the most important thing."

There were hugs and lots of tears and also praise for the system that doesn't always get it.

"This was our first case working with CASA, wraparound, all that, to where it really, I think made a difference," Joanne said.

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. Their mission, according to its website, is to advocate for the best interests of children who find themselves involved in Family Court as a result of abuse and/or neglect.

A number of people who have worked with the family were in court Wednesday, too.

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