CALERA, Ala. (WBRC) - An 11-year-old girl in Calera only had one big wish this Christmas, and lucky for her, Santa Claus came through. Just six days before the holiday, she received a life-changing surprise.
Dustin and Page Rogers have a big heart; they’ve fostered over 180 children in their Shelby County home for five years.
“We began fostering after I met several foster children in a childcare center I was working for,” Page said. “Foster care truly changed our lives because it taught Dustin and I what it truly means to be a family.”
Of those dozens of children, the couple has adopted nine of them as their own. Little did they know, they would welcome one more child into the family before their journey with foster care was over.
They began fostering a little girl named Maya in the June 2018. It didn't take long for Maya to witness and feel the love that the family gave to one another. In February of 2019, the couple officially adopted four of their foster children, which made a huge impact on Maya.
"She was with us this past February when we adopted our four girls," Page said, "She cried through the entire adoption, because she longed to have a forever family."
Maya did not give up on her dream of being adopted. When the holiday season approached, the children were asked to give Page and Dustin their Christmas list. On Maya’s list was three things: an Adidas sweatsuit, a hydro flask, and to be adopted. Little did Maya know, that last wish was shared with her foster parents.
Page and Dustin started the adoption process for Maya on November 8th. On December 19th, at 11:30 a.m,, Jefferson County Judge Elizabeth North signed their petition. Dustin and Page had officially adopted Maya.
Now, it was time to tell their newest daughter the good news.
Page told her children they were stopping by the courthouse, and she wanted to take a picture of them while they were there. So, the children lined up and Maya was given a sign to hold. That sign read “Merry Christmas to me. I’m now an adoptee.” It also included her new name, Presley Louise Rogers.
Presley, stood there, smiling and holding the sign for a few moments before someone flipped it over and told her to read it. When she realized what it said, the tears couldn’t stop flowing. Presley was at a loss for words when we asked her about her Christmas wish coming true.
"It was like, I was really happy," Presley said, with a big smile on her face, "I was really surprised."
Presley and her new family celebrated her big day with a trip to Chuck-E-Cheese.
“Today’s adoption was so special because she finally gets to have that feeling of ‘forever’ and stability,” Page said, “She’ll never have to pack up her belongings and move again. She is home...forever.”
There are still approximately 300 foster children in the state of Alabama, waiting for their forever home. If you are interested in fostering or adopting a child, contact Children’s Aid Society or your county’s DHR office.