This year, Koinonia has selected Samantha and her sweet, adoptive son, Clyde as our Sacramento Family of the Year.

As a teacher with a heart for children, Samantha had a strong desire to provide a home to a child in need, but it wasn’t until a volunteer in her classroom mentioned he and his wife were fostering teenagers that she felt compelled to take the first step. Samantha found out they were fostering through Koinonia and reached out to start the approval process soon after. 

A wonderful example of fostering-to-adopt as a single parent, Samantha’s story is one we hope you find encouragement from, perhaps just the amount you need to provide a safe, loving, nurturing home to a child. In her own words, here is Samantha & Clyde’s adoption story:

I received a phone call in December of 2018 about an emergency placement for a little boy. I was sitting at my desk in my classroom when I received the call and was told that this was a good opportunity for me to see what it would be like to be a foster parent. It would only be for about 2 weeks.  

My heart was racing, and after thinking about it for 5 or 10 minutes I said yes and sprang into action. I met one of the social workers at the Sacramento Children’s Receiving Home that night and picked up the little boy, Clyde. I can still see his angel-like face in my rearview mirror as he fell asleep on the way home. He was 3 years old with big beautiful eyes, the longest eyelashes I had ever seen, and a munchkin voice.  

Clyde was shy, sweet, and talkative. When we came home I spent time making him feel comfortable, playing games, and showing him all the toys in the playroom. But when bedtime came, he was crying hysterically for his mother. It broke my heart. I laid on the floor next to him until he fell asleep that night. Clyde didn’t want to sleep in the bed; he preferred the children’s teepee in the bedroom.  

It was nearing Christmas day, and Clyde had been with me for about 11 days when I received a phone call that he was going to be placed with a friend of his birth mother. I was extremely sad and heartbroken. He was supposed to stay through Christmas and into the New Year, but that is what happens in foster care – you must expect the unexpected.  

As time went by my heartache eased and ultimately I felt that God was in control. I just wanted Clyde to be safe and loved – no matter who he was with.

However, 5 weeks later I received a phone call about the little boy who had left such an impression on me and my family. It had not worked out with the family friend and Clyde was in need of placement again. I was asked if I was willing to take him in and without any hesitation, I said, “Absolutely!” I was able to take some time off of work and be with Clyde for the first few days while he was transitioning back into my home. 

Looking back, I can’t even believe that we would be here at this moment.  

In the beginning, I believed reunification was going to happen and I wanted to protect my heart as much as possible…. but apparently that wasn’t the plan or the path. It was a long road and there were many twists and turns, but after almost 2 years we finalized Clyde’s adoption. It was a miraculous journey and there were many people involved who had a divine role in our future together. Only God knew that the little boy who was supposed to be a 2 week placement would end up being my forever child. 

December marks 2 years since Clyde first came to my home on that cold winter evening, but now when I think about it, only warmth fills my heart.


If you are interested in learning more about fostering to adopt, contact a Koinonia Family Services office near you or submit an online inquiry. We would love to answer your questions and help you decide if fostering or adopting is a good fit for you & your family.