Woman adopts 3 siblings with special needs through Envision Unlimited

September 14, 2013

"It's wonderful, actually. I've loved them since the first time they walked in my house. I would do it all over again. They are my kids. They're wonderful," mom Cedra Watson said.

Brothers Joshua and Jeremiah were adopted by Watson in 2006. Their sister Julia was adopted in February.

"I knew the mother. I still talk to her," Watson said.

Joshua, 7, is autistic.

"Right now, we are working on him learning more to say complete sentences, and I think it will come," Watson said.

Jeremiah is 6 years old. He has ADHD and behavioral issues.

"That's where most of our problems some come in with Jeremiah at school. It's his behavior," the mom said.

Julia is 4 years old. She has some learning challenges.

"It doesn't come easy to her. It's really hard for her to take in what they are trying to teach her," said Watson.

Fostering children with disabilities is challenging and rewarding, but keeping siblings together is another thing. Envision Unlimited, a disabilities organization, has a foster care program that works at keeping biological families together.

"What we do at Envision -- even if we can't find one foster home -- we may have two or three of our foster care homes who will take the sibling groups. That way it becomes easier for the siblings to see each other, visit, because they are all within one agency," said VP and COO Betty Jackson.

Someone like Cedra Watson is a godsend.

"She is wonderful. She has chosen to adopt three children, three children who are a sibling group," said Jackson. "That is a phenomenal thing to go from foster care to adoption, and then to keep all three of these children."

" They are children, you know . You can just love them. It is hard, but it can be done. They just really need love, and once they get that, you don't really see the disability that much no more. I know that they have disabilities, but I don't even think of it," Watson said.

Research shows that there are developmental, behavioral and social benefits to keeping siblings together. For more information on Envision Unlimited go to, www.envisionchicago.org.

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