Talia has never belonged to a family. That is, until now. Talia was born just outside of San Francisco. When she was a little girl, her parents left her with some relatives. They never came back.
Over the decades that followed, Talia continued to shuffle from one relative’s house to another. She fit her belongings in a large backpack, which she packed every morning just in case. For 23 years, she never considered herself homeless, although she couldn’t tell you where she lived.
Three years ago, everything changed. Manaia*, Talia’s second cousin, and his wife Elei*, reached out to Talia and offered her a room of her own. Manaia and Elei watched Talia grow up. She stayed on their couch many times over the years. They always wished they could do more, but with 6 kids of their own, their house was already bursting at the seams. Now, their kids were growing up and leaving home. As soon as a room opened up, they called Talia.
Talia was in disbelief. She joyfully accepted the room but kept her belongings packed. 6 months later, her skepticism began to fade. She started using the dresser and even stored her old backpack in the closet. A year later, she hung some of her favorite photos on the wall. Deeply grateful, Talia asked to help with chores around the house like her cousins did. The following year, Talia started cooking for family dinner. That’s when she knew that she belonged.
Meanwhile, Manaia and Elei were deep in conversation. They loved Talia like one of their own and wanted her to feel safe in their family. That’s when Manaia decided to visit Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal (BHPCL). A long time client of ours, Manaia visited BHPCL’s family law team to find out what their options were. After much research and help from our attorneys, Manaia and Elei decided to approach Talia about an adoption. Overjoyed, Talia said yes. She had found her family.
BHPCL’s family law attorneys are currently working with Talia, Manaia, and Elei to complete the adoption process. The journey is long and arduous, but you can help. Sponsor Manaia and Elei’s legal fees so that Talia can, at last, call her parents by name.
*Names changed to protect clients’ identities.