Twenty-one-year-old Allyson Perry is a senior at North Carolina State University where she is studying to become a social worker. Far beyond her years, she is passionate about working with kids in foster care or perhaps starting a career counseling kids and young adults who are members of the adoption triad. You see, Allyson is the first Hispanic child to be adopted through A Child’s Hope, and she certainly realizes her adoption story opens an important, relatable dialogue with families.
A last-minute call from the agency is where this story starts back on Easter weekend 2000. Her parents, Brian and Karen Perry received a call about a newborn Hispanic girl at the hospital needing a home. The couple quickly left the beach where they were spending the holiday weekend to begin their journey to become parents without much information. As the couple arrived, the birthmother was waiting at the hospital with her baby girl. At that time, there was no Spanish-speaking hospital liaison to help with communication. It was challenging during such an emotional time.
“I will never forget the look on her mother’s face when we dressed baby Allyson on the bed and left the room with her,” said Karen Perry, who is an OBGYN nurse at a major medical center. Placing a baby for adoption in 2000 for the most part meant a closed adoption. Open adoption was not common then, and information such as phone numbers and addresses were not exchanged. Thinking back, cell service and Wi-Fi were not always available in public places.
A few years later, Allyson became a big sister when her brother Clayton was adopted, also through A Child’s Hope. He is now a high school senior.
“I feel so thankful to have the parents I do,” shared Allyson, who still wonders about her birth parents. I want to be there for others who may be struggling with similar questions or with their family life in general. It’s a natural progression for me.”